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S&Ds: Commission’s Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) proposal is insufficient to face future health threats

Date

16 Sep 2021

Sections

Health & Consumers

The S&D Group wants to see more ambition on co-ordination to identify, develop, manufacture and procure critical medical counter-measures to face health threats and health emergencies. Today’s proposal provides to an extent a better governance framework for existing mechanisms, but it is not enough to face future health threats. The S&D Group is also concerned that the European Parliament will not have a seat at the negotiation table to discuss such an important regulation. 

The S&D vice-president for health, Heléne Fritzon MEP, commented:

“The S&D Group has always supported the creation of a Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority. We need to mobilise the necessary tools and resources to monitor the availability of critical medical counter-measures, expedite research and innovation, and use joint procurement to ensure equitable access to good-quality healthcare during pandemics and other health threats.

“However, the decision announced today falls short of what we need for the future and the S&D Group is calling for greater ambition. This is necessary to provide adequate tools to identify, develop, manufacture and procure necessary counter-measures to face current and future health threats, notably for what has been called a ‘silent pandemic’: anti-microbial resistance (AMR).”

The S&D co-ordinator in the environment committee, Jytte Guteland MEP, said:

“It is clear that EU needs better co-ordination to face the next health crisis. It is positive that the proposal sets out a better governance structure and provides a better framework facing a pandemic and other health threats. But we need stronger tools and more sustainable structures. We as a group have supported interim solutions such as the HERA incubator and now a more defined framework of governance for emergency capacities, but what we need is an agency that can adequately address challenges related to development and procuring medical counter-measures to face health threats. Overall this is a necessary cornerstone to create a strong and inclusive European Health Union, and we must maintain our ambition to make sure that we truly take into account lessons learnt during the current pandemic. Therefore, we need an initiative that that goes beyond the scope currently envisaged and the Parliament should have a seat at the negotiating table.”

 

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