Commission launches European Health Emergency preparedness and Response Authority (HERA)

17/09/2021 57 Views
Commission launches European Health Emergency preparedness and Response Authority (HERA)

On September 16, the European Commission launched the European Health Emergency preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to health emergencies.

HERA was designed to anticipate threats and potential health crises, through intelligence gathering and building the necessary response capacities. When an emergency hits, HERA will ensure the development, production and distribution of medicines, vaccines and other medical countermeasures – such as gloves and masks – that were often lacking during the first phase of the coronavirus response.

HERA is a key pillar of the European Health Union announced by President von der Leyen in her 2020 State of the Union address and will fill a gap in the EU’s health emergency response and preparedness.

Resources

HERA activities will rely on a budget of €6 billion from the current Multiannual Financial Framework for the period 2022-2027, part of which will come from the NextGenerationEU top-up.

Other EU programmes such as the Recovery and Resilience Facility, REACT-EU, Cohesion Funds and the InvestEU Progamme inside the EU, and the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument outside the EU, will also contribute to support the resilience of health systems. Together with the above €6 billion the total support will thus amount to almost €30 billion under the next financing period and even more if we consider investments at national level and in the private sector.

Next steps

To ensure a swift launch and building on the HERA incubator launched in February 2021, HERA will be set up as an internal Commission structure. It will be fully operational early 2022. Its functioning will be reviewed and adapted on an annual basis until 2025, when a full review will be carried out.

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