Be better prepared for the next pandemic

12.07.2023 13:36

Be better prepared for the next pandemic

Young biologist sitting near the microscope and doing the research while working in the biological lab

The EPP Group wants to increase Europe’s production capacity in medicines and medical equipment, diversify its global supply chain and ensure better coordination of national health strategies.

The European Parliament today adopted a long-awaited report which wrapped up the work of the Special Committee on the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The final report is the result of consensus. For more than a year, we have been in dialogue with hundreds of experts and health and political leaders. We have studied and analysed the significance of the health, economic and social crisis caused by last pandemic”, said the EPP Group’s Dolors Montserrat MEP, who drafted the report.

Under Montserrat’s guidance, the nearly 100-page report underlines the EU's leadership in the development of COVID-19 vaccines, emphasises the vital role of EU health research and development, and calls for an increase in local production and more investment in pharmaceutical research and development.

The report also recommends that a limited waiver of Intellectual Property rules be justified for the duration of the pandemic and on medical countermeasures to face it. This compromise will maintain the balance with the fundamental importance of intellectual property protection to foster health innovation.

In line with the EPP Group’s push for more transparency, the report also calls for improving the procurement of vaccines, to bargain for conditions that are more favourable in future contracts and calls for a disclosure of vaccine contracts, when legally possible.

At national level, the report recommends introducing stress tests to make healthcare systems more resilient and to implement a holistic approach to pandemic prevention and response. The EU should also establish innovative cross-sectoral prevention programmes to reduce risk factors and promote healthy lifestyles.

“If a pandemic strikes again, we must be prepared to help the most vulnerable, protect our healthcare professionals and make sure that the economy and employment are not damaged, while avoiding infringing the civil rights of Europeans”, Montserrat concluded.

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 177 Members from all EU Member States

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