Building a European Health Union: Reinforcing the EU’s resilience for cross-border health threats

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2020) 724
Publication Date 11/11/2020
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Communication published by the European Commission on 11 November 2020, setting out an agenda aimed at building a European Health Union.

Further information:

During the early days of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Member States took unilateral measures to protect their own populations. However, those uncoordinated measures resulted in disruption of essential supply chains across the EU internal market, and some became largely ineffective. European public opinion has shown increasing support to the European Union acquiring a more active role in health matters. During her State of the Union address in September 2020, the President of the European Commission called on the EU to draw lessons from the crisis and build a European Health Union.

This Communication sets out the first building blocks for a European Health Union. It outlines the lessons learnt from the first stage of the pandemic, and advocates the strengthening of existing structures and mechanisms for better EU level protection, prevention, preparedness and response against human health hazards. It recommends a reinforced framework for cross-border cooperation against all health threats in order to better protect lives and the internal market as well as to maintain the highest standards in the protection of human rights and civil liberties. It also strengthens the EU role in international coordination and cooperation to prevent and control cross-border health threats and improve global health security.

The Communication is also accompanied by three legislative proposals:

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Related Links
The Guardian, 11/11/2020: EU seeks greater public health powers after Covid 'wake-up call'
Associated Press, 11/11/2020: Pandemic spurs EU to seek more preparation, coordination

European Commission: Priorities 2019-2024: European Health Union
European Commission: Press Release, 11/11/2020: Building a European Health Union: Stronger crisis preparedness and response for Europe
European Commission: Questions and Answers: Building a European Health Union: Stronger crisis preparedness and response for Europe (11 November 2020)
European Commission: Remarks by Commissioner Stella Kyriakides at the press conference on Building a European Health Union (11 November 2020)

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