Pandemics: EU Creates Its Shield

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The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need and urgency for Europe to have rapid reaction mechanisms in place to protect its citizens. The 2019 coronavirus has highlighted the discrepancies in assessments between the 27 countries, both of the threat to health and of the measures to be taken to help citizens. For this reason, the EU has passed three Regulations. One to broaden ECDC’s mandate, another to address major cross-border threats to health and the third to tackle emergencies together. To ensure that the EU now has the tools it needs to better prepare for and respond to public health emergencies.​

 

Brussels, 4 January 2023

With the entry into force of the new rules, Europe has a strong legal framework to enhance EU capacity in the key areas of prevention, preparedness, surveillance, risk assessment, early warning and response.

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that the EU’s mechanisms for managing health threats suffer from general weaknesses, which make it essential to adopt a more structured approach at EU level in order to deal more effectively with future health crises.

​Calls were made for a more coherent and coordinated approach to EU health crisis preparedness and management.

The provisions on health safety, established by decision no. 1082/2013/EU on serious cross-border threats to health, provided a limited legal framework for coordination at EU level, based essentially on the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS) as well as on the exchange of information and on cooperation in the Health Security Committee.

​The first lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic have shown that previous provisions were not sufficient and for this reason a new set of 3 Regulations has been adopted by …continue reading

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