Commission presents proposals for expansion of ECDC mandate
The European Commission today presented a set of proposals to expand the legal mandate of ECDC. First, a draft Regulation changing ECDC’s current founding Regulation was announced.
The European Commission today presented a set of proposals to expand the legal mandate of ECDC. First, a draft Regulation changing ECDC’s current founding Regulation was announced. It contains changes which reinforce the ECDC mandate so that the Centre may support Member States and the Commission in the following areas:
- epidemiological surveillance via integrated systems enabling real-time surveillance;
- preparedness and response planning, reporting and auditing;
- provision of non-binding recommendations and options for risk management;
- capacity to mobilise and deploy EU Health Task Force to assist local response in Member States;
- build a network of EU reference laboratories and a network for substances of human origin.
In parallel, a proposal for a new Regulation on serious cross-border threats (replacing a previous Decision on the same topic, 2119/1998 and later 1082/2013) was announced. This updated piece of legislation aims at ‘creating a more robust mandate for coordination by the Commission and EU agencies,’ and its main new elements are:
- To strengthen preparedness: EU health crisis and pandemic preparedness plans and recommendations will be developed for adoption at national levels. The preparation of national plans would be supported by ECDC and other EU agencies.
- To reinforce surveillance: a strengthened, integrated surveillance system will be created at EU level, using artificial intelligence and other advanced technology.
- To improve data reporting: Member States will be required to step up their reporting of health systems indicators (e.g. hospital beds availability, specialised treatment and intensive care capacity, number of medically trained staff etc.).
- The declaration of an EU emergency situation would trigger increased coordination and allow for the development, stockpiling and procurement of crisis relevant products.
Stella Kyriakides, the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety said:
“Health is more than ever an essential concern for our citizens. In times of crisis, citizens rightfully expect the EU to take a more active role. Today we are reinforcing the foundations for a more secure, better-prepared and more resilient EU in the area of health. This will be a significant change for the capacity to respond collectively. The European Health Union is all about preparing for and facing up to common health threats together, as a Union. We need to do this in order to meet the expectations of our citizens.”
Read more in the Q&A’s of the Commission.