TOWARDS A EUROPEAN HEALTH UNION PREVENTION, CRISIS MANAGEMENT AND MULTILATERALISM
Towrds a European Health Union prevention
Health Working Group of the Jacques Delors Institute
Subject headingsHealthcare ; Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan ; Emergency preparedness and Response Authority (HERA)
Covid-19 has reminded us of an undeniable truth when it comes to shaping future European Union (EU) initiatives: Robust and resilient health systems do not represent a cost to society. On the contrary, they are a long-term investment and a requirement for solidarity and prosperity. Through cen- turies of forest fires, we have learned that emergency preparedness is neither a waste of time nor money. Every European city has a permanent fire service with readily available fire engines and aircraft. Within Europe, we now find that there is also a need to better prepare for pathogens which are easily transmitted across our borders and societies. The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the shortcomings of health systems across the globe. These include a lack of foresight, inadequate research and cross-border healthcare, insufficiently resilient national systems and an overall dearth of human, financial and material resources. Very few systems or institutions were prepared with respect to personnel, strategic planning, infrastructure and technology. European countries implemented lockdown measures which were essentially similar, albeit to varying degrees of speed and performance. Many countries have been unable to use transparent health data for effective decision-making and monitoring. Most public administrations and government departments did not have functioning or practical systems to coordinate between regional, national and European authorities nor between their public healthcare and social welfare establishments.
Number of pages56p.