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The European Health Data Space will improve cross-border healthcare, while safeguarding patients’ rights


28 Nov 2023


Global Europe

Today, S&D MEPs voted on new rules governing how health data in the EU is used as part of the European Health Data Space (EHDS). 

The draft legislation, originally proposed by the Commission in May 2022 in the midst of the Covid19 pandemic, aims to make cross-border healthcare easier for patients and doctors alike, while at the same time promoting research and innovation in health policy. While recognising that a health data space is needed to better monitor and address future pandemics, S&D MEPs fought for strict rules on how electronic health data can be used and has secured guarantees that individuals have control over any medical data related to them.  

Today’s vote took place in a joint meeting of the environment and public health committee and the civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee. Before negotiations with the Council can begin, MEPs need to confirm Parliament’s position in plenary.

Petar Vitanov, S&D negotiator for the European Parliament’s civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee, said:

“We have taken an important step towards giving EU citizens more control over their health data. Having access to their health records from any member state will make life easier for many EU citizens. At the same time, we have ensured the new EHDS framework will be fully in line with GDPR rules and that the fundamental right to privacy will not be undermined in any way.”

Sara Cerdas, S&D negotiator for the European Parliament’s environment, public health and food safety committee, said:

“This proposal for a Regulation on the European Health Data Space has the potential of being truly ground breaking for patients. It will improve accessibility, efficiency and quality of healthcare provision while, at the same time, stepping up Europe’s scientific and clinical research, public health surveillance and better policy making ensuring that we take a step towards the realisation of the European Health Union.”