The EPP Group wants the European Union to become a true Health Union. To this end, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) must be given more responsibilities, and the existing rules on cross-border health threats must be improved.
“We need a European Health Union to better fight against pandemics in the future. Through COVID-19, we saw that Europe was not prepared for this kind of health threat. Those who have always argued that health should remain a purely national issue were mistaken. It is clear now that no individual Member State could beat this virus alone”, said Peter Liese MEP, the EPP Group’s Spokesman for Health, ahead of today’s debate in Parliament’s Environment Committee on three draft laws aimed at better preparing Europe for future health threats.
“The ECDC must have the power to give health crisis recommendations to Member States, whereas the EMA has to be able to anticipate and prevent shortages of critical medicines and medical devices in Europe. We need to significantly strengthen the two agencies so that they can match the capacity of national authorities. If we really want to have an effective response on a European level, the EMA and the ECDC need to be assigned more responsibilities and staff”, said Liese.
On the improvement of the existing rules on cross-border health threats, Liese stressed that Europe needs to be able to declare an EU emergency if needed and reduce European dependency on the World Health Organisation (WHO).