EU Council adopts final building blocks of the European Health Union

24/10/2022 Policy 196 Views
EU Council adopts final building blocks of the European Health Union

On October 24, the European Council adopted the final building blocks of the European Health Union: the Regulation on Serious cross-border health threats, the Regulation on the extended mandate of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the Emergency Framework Regulation to provide extra powers to the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA). These new rules complete the European Health Union, building a powerful legal framework to improve the EU’s capacity in the vital areas of prevention, preparedness, surveillance, risk assessment, early warning, and response.

With the adoption of the Serious cross-border threats to health Regulation, the EU will have:

  • a robust preparedness planning and a more integrated surveillance system;
  • a better capacity for accurate risk assessment and targeted response;
  • solid mechanisms for joint procurement of medical countermeasures;
  • the possibility to adopt common measures at EU level to address future cross-border health threats.

A stronger ECDC will not only issue recommendations to Member States regarding health threats preparedness, but also host a new excellence network of EU reference laboratories and establish an EU Health Task Force for rapid health interventions in the event of a major outbreak.

To be effective and operational in times of public health emergencies, the Emergency Framework Regulation will allow the establishment within HERA of a Health Crisis Board. This Board will rapidly coordinate at EU level the supply of and access to medical countermeasures. The Regulation also enables the activation of the EU fab facilities, emergency research and innovation plans and access to emergency funding.

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