EU must become self-sufficient in health

12.06.2023 20:28

EU must become self-sufficient in health

Young tech tunes her microscope

The EU must become more self-sufficient in health matters such as producing medicines, the European Parliament’s Special Committee on the COVID-19 pandemic has found.

Speaking after the adoption of the committee’s final position this evening, Report author Dolors Montserrat MEP said: “The EU needs to find permanent solutions to avoid dependency on third countries for medicines. It also needs to increase its production capacity, while also diversifying its global supply chain and ensuring better coordination of national health strategies.”

“The reindustrialisation of Europe with a competitive pharmaceutical sector will further strengthen the EU's open strategic autonomy in health. This must be our blueprint to avert the repetition of past mistakes", Montserrat added.

The Report calls for a strong European intellectual property system to encourage research, development and manufacturing in the health sector. It recommends that a limited waiver of IP rules be justified for the duration of the pandemic and on medical countermeasures to face it.

The committee underlines the importance of defence against cyber-attacks and combatting the spread of disinformation, while keeping national governments’ institutions open in times of such health crises.

The significant impact the pandemic had on small and medium-sized businesses and on vulnerable groups such as the elderly, persons with disabilities and the youth is also highlighted.

“We need to continue mobilising the COVID Recovery Fund to accelerate the digital and green transition, increase women’s participation in the labour market and tackle the risk of poverty as well as addressing mental health issues”, urged Stelios Kympouropoulos MEP, the EPP Group’s Spokesman on the special committee.

The unity and speed with which the EU responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, through rapid vaccine development, an historic aid package and the establishment of the ‘EU4Health' framework is commended by the committee.

The European Parliament will vote on the committee’s findings in July 2023.

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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