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Health Crises and the Growth of EU Agencies: The Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. EIPA Briefing June 2021.

Klika, Christoph (2021) Health Crises and the Growth of EU Agencies: The Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. EIPA Briefing June 2021. UNSPECIFIED.

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    In her State of the Union address in September 2020, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stressed the need to build a stronger European Health Union in order to strengthen crisis preparedness and management of cross-border health threats. However, in the EU, public health is an ambiguous policy area (see Art. 168 TFEU). Although health protection is an overarching objective in all policy areas, public health is mainly a supporting competence of the EU. There are some areas, such as setting standards for medicinal products, in which, by way of derogation, EU competences supersede national competences. Regarding serious cross-border threats to health, however, EU action can only complement national policies. The organisation of health services and medical care is the responsibility of the Member States. The Commission has highlighted several problems. National variance in terms of preparedness means that Member States have different levels of capacities to respond to health crisis. Without coordination, Member States might compete against each other when procuring medical countermeasures. There is currently no common threat assessment which might support joint intervention mechanisms, and the availability of countermeasures and production capacities in the EU is unknown. Existing agencies like the ECDC and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) do not have the mandate to audit national preparedness and to initiate a common response in times of crisis. Finally, developing countermeasures is resource-intensive and entails financial risks for businesses which, in turn, requires public-private partnership for investment and finance. This briefing presents the most important proposals related to agencies in public health with a focus on crisis preparedness and management. It then discusses the challenges of ‘agencification’ in relation to agency governance, inter-agency cooperation and funding.

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    Item Type: Other
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > public health policy (including global activities)
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > European Commission
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > economic and financial affairs > Single Market > harmonisation/standards/mutual recognition
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > European Institute of Public Adminstration (Maastricht) > Working Papers
    Depositing User: Daniel Pennell
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2021 13:12
    Number of Pages: 4
    Last Modified: 08 Nov 2021 13:12

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