EU negotiators secured settlement on Thursday on a collection of measures to bolster motion at European stage to help cooperation and coordination amongst EU international locations, specifically between neighbouring border areas, and permit the EU to higher anticipate and reply to severe cross-border well being threats.
The Commission will now be capable of formally recognise a public well being emergency on the EU stage, which might set off stronger intra-EU cooperation and permit for the well timed growth, stockpiling and joint procurement of medical countermeasures.
Prevention on the centre of addressing well being threats
In gentle of the teachings discovered from the COVID-19 pandemic, the brand new regulation requires higher planning and coordination each at EU and nationwide ranges. Parliament efficiently managed to position prevention on the coronary heart of the combat towards well being threats, and secured strengthened mechanisms to arrange for and reply to well being crises. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) will undertake common assessments of prevention, preparedness and response planning at nationwide stage.
Stronger framework for joint procurement of medical countermeasures
The settlement clarifies procedures for the joint procurement of medicines and medical units. It consists of the likelihood to restrict parallel procurement and negotiation actions by taking part international locations, in case of merchandise bought collectively on the EU stage. To guarantee transparency, the Commission can be required to tell Parliament about all joint procurement procedures and grant entry to MEPs to the related contracts (whereas guaranteeing sufficient safety of enterprise secrecy and business agreements).
Other measures foreseen by the regulation embody:
– strengthening the position of the Health Security Committee (HSC) to higher help member states within the prevention and management of well being threats;
– shut cooperation between all EU our bodies, together with the brand new European Health Emergency Response and Preparedness Authority (HERA); the Commission is required to hold out an analysis of HERA’s position by 2024 and assess whether or not it ought to turn out to be an unbiased entity;
– An EU-level plan will embody an summary of obtainable sources, such because the RescEU stockpile, and a mapping of manufacturing capacities for important medical merchandise.
Rapporteur Véronique Trillet-Lenoir (Renew, FR) mentioned: “This laws clearly responds to the 74% of European residents who need higher European competence in disaster administration. The European Health Union is being constructed step-by-step. We will proceed this venture within the context of discussions on a future conference on the revision of the European treaties.”
Parliament and Council must formally approve the settlement earlier than it could possibly come into pressure.
As a part of building a European Health Union, on 11 November 2020 the Commission proposed a brand new well being safety framework, based mostly on the experience dealing with the coronavirus. The package deal features a proposal for a regulation on serious cross-border threats to health. The first two parts of the package deal have already been finalised, with a stronger role for the European Medicines Agency and extending the mandate of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.