Public Policy Dynamics EU #5

by RPP colleagues

Health and Politics in the European Union

  • On 10 March, the Joint Declaration on the Conference on the Future of Europe was signed by representatives of the European institutions, namely European Parliament President, David Sassoli, Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa, on behalf of the Presidency of the Council, and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. This marks an important step to launching a series of debates and discussions that are inclusive, open, and transparent in structure. The discussions aim towards improving the EU’s resilience to crises based on citizens’ input.
  • On 9 March, the European Parliament voted to adopt the EU4Health programme. The proposal aims to contribute where the EU has a clear added value in complementing Member States’ policies. The European Commission welcomed this voted, emphasising its importance in allocating an extra €1.5 billion to strengthen the resilience of health systems and promote innovation in the health sector. Once approved by the Council, the regulation will apply retroactively from 1 January 2021.
  • The European Commission has authorised a fourth vaccine against Covid-19. A conditional marketing authorisation (CMA) was granted to the vaccine developed by Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, allowing for 200 million of their single dose vaccine to be distributed to the EU starting in Q2 2021.Member States may also purchase an additional 200 million doses.

Politics

  • On 10 March the Joint Declaration on the Conference on the Future of Europe was signed by representatives of the European institutions, namely European Parliament President David Sassoli, Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa, on behalf of the Presidency of the Council, and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. This opens the path to the launch of a series of debates and discussions that are inclusive, open, and transparent in structure. In this way, all European citizens may participate and help shape Europe's ambitions, policies, and future. This aims to improve the EU’s resilience to crises, which has been thrown into sharp relief by the pandemic. The declaration gives a list of possible themes for the conference such as health, climate change, social fairness, and digital transformation, among others. It has been stated, however, that participating citizens will decide what topics the conference will ultimately include.

 

Health

  • On 9 March, the European Parliament voted on the EU4Health programme, which was adopted with 621 votes in favour and 32 against, with34 abstentions. The proposal aims to contribute where the EU has a clear added value in complementing Member States’ policies.
  • The European Commission welcomed this voted, emphasising its importance in allocating an extra €1.5 billion towards strengthening the resilience of health systems and promoting innovation in the health sector. This will contribute a significant deal towards the recovery from the pandemic as it will boost EU preparedness and strengthen the European Health Union.
  • EU4Health was proposed by the Commission on 28 May 2020. In order to enter into force, the programme now needs to be adopted by the Council of the EU. Once approved, the regulation will apply retroactively from 1 January 2021.

 

Covid-19

  • The European Commission has authorised a fourth vaccine against Covid-19. A conditional marketing authorisation (CMA) was granted to the vaccine developed by Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. This authorisation follows a positive scientific recommendation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and endorsement by the Member States. The authorisation will allow for 200 million of their single dose vaccine to be distributed to the EU starting in Q2 2021, and Member States can purchase an additional 200 million doses. This adds to the total amount of 600 million doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer, the 460 million doses of the Moderna, and the 400 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines.

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