The EU will create an agency to prevent pandemics and health crises

Headquarters of the European Commission. / EFE

Ursula von der Leyen, in her State of the Union address, announced a disbursement of 50 billion euros

Anticipate future crises and have everything prepared in case they erupt. Those would be the basic ideas that have led Brussels to launch the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Agency (HERA). It would complement already consolidated entities such as the ECDC (prevention and control of diseases) or EMA (European Medicines Agency) in this project to build a European health union that the Community Executive has been pushing since the coronavirus hit with all its lethality.

Ursula von der Leyen, in her State of the Union address on Wednesday summed up the project in one sentence: “Prevent a local virus from becoming a pandemic.” And it announced a disbursement of up to 50,000 million euros.

HERA will be tasked with “preventing, detecting and responding quickly to health emergencies”. Multi-million dollar investment for a service that will be controlled by the Commission in coordination with the Member States and that would promote “the development, production and distribution of medicines, vaccines and other medical elements”.

“As an internal service of the Commission, it will allow us to start working as of today and reach full operational capacity at the beginning of next year”, Vice-President Margaritis Schinas stressed this Thursday.


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