Covid-19 pandemic: European Parliament’s recommendations on improving health crisis management

The European Parliament’s special committee on the Covid-19 pandemic has adopted recommendations to improve European Union crisis management and preparedness for future health emergencies.

Key health proposals put forward by the special committee include investing more in health care, introducing surveillance plans on emerging health threats, carrying out stress tests on national health care systems, increasing transparency for joint procurement activities, improving the EU’s strategic autonomy on key pharmaceutical ingredients and medicines and developing an EU strategy to tackle “long Covid”.

To protect democracy and fundamental rights, MEPs want the right to information and freedom of expression to be better protected, enhanced crisis communication and transparent decision-making processes, parliamentary oversight at both EU and national level when emergency legislation is being adopted, and concrete measures to support marginalised communities, minorities and disadvantaged people during times of crisis.

To tackle the social and economic consequences of the crisis, the report asks for stronger action to combat gender-based violence and for the gender perspective to be incorporated into all EU policies and national recovery plans, for the needs of the growing elderly population to be met and for standards to be set on working from home throughout the EU.

As regards recommendations for global action, MEPs call for international investment and coordination to be increased to scale up critical vaccines’ production, reinforcing the cooperation between the EU and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to strengthen the International Heath Regulations and address any gaps in the new pandemic treaty, and for a constructive solution to be found on intellectual property protection.

(Photo: Pixabay)

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