On November 29th, the European Parliament and the Council of Europe reached an agreement on a reinforced role for the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). This is, in the words of Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides, a step closer to a stronger European Health Union.
This agreement will allow the ECDC to take a stronger role in supporting the EU and its Member States in the prevention and control of communicable disease threats and improve European preparedness for future health challenges. Concretely, it means “state-of-the-art surveillance of future outbreaks, more joint preparedness and response planning with Member States, stronger guidance during emergencies and more support to Member States at all stages of health crisis management, including through the assistance of a standing, ready-to-be-deployed EU Health Task Force” said Kyriakides. This decision reflect the lessons learnt from COVID-19 and form the basis for a strong European Health Union.