Public Policy Dynamics EU #6

by RPP colleagues

Health and Politics in the European Union

  • The Executive Board of the Conference on the Future of Europe held its first meeting on 24 March, two weeks after the Joint Declaration on the Conference on the Future of Europe was ratified. Composed of representatives across the three legislative institutions, the Board agreed on a number of items, including the establishment of a multilingual Digital Platform where citizens can contribute to the Conference.
  • On 24 March, the Council of the EU agreed to start negotiating its position with the European Parliament on a legislative proposal related to the health technology assessment for patients’ well-being. Such a legislative proposal focuses on the necessity for joint, evidence-based evaluations of health technologies.
  • In response to the temporary suspensions of the Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccine by several national authorities due to reports of blood clot events, the European Medicine’s Agency launched an expedited investigation into the reported adverse reactions. On 18 March, the EMA safety committee PRAC concluded that, following its preliminary review, the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the potential risks of side effects.
  • On 24 March, the Commission announced that it will strengthen the transparency and authorisation mechanism of Covid-19 vaccine exports.

Politics

  • Two weeks after the Joint Declaration on the Conference on the Future of Europe was ratified, the Executive Board held its first constitutive meeting on 24 March. Composed of representatives across the three institutions (the European Parliament, Council and Commission), the Board agreed on a number of items, including the establishment of a multilingual Digital Platform where citizens can contribute to the Conference. Co-Chairs of the Executive Board have placed a huge emphasis on citizen inclusion in the Conference’s work, placing them at the centre of European politics.

 

Health

  • On 24 March, the Council of the EU agreed to start negotiating its position with the European Parliament on a legislative proposal related to the health technology assessment for patients’ well-being. Such a legislative proposal sheds light on the establishment of a Coordination Group made up of national health authorities, whose responsibility is to work on joint clinical assessments and scientific consultations on health technologies. With the aim of improving patients’ lives as well as facilitating the work of member states and health technology developers, the health technology assessment would provide an evidence-based process to evaluate new or existing technologies, and take science-driven decisions on the pricing or reimbursement of such technologies.

 

Covid-19

  • In response to the temporary suspensions of the Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccine by several national authorities due to reports of blood clot events, the European Medicine’s Agency launched an expedited investigation into the reported adverse reactions. On 18 March, the EMA safety committee PRAC concluded that, following its preliminary review, the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the potential risks of side effects and the vaccine is not correlated with an increase in overall risk of blood clot events. It was noted that the presence of blood clots may occur in very rare cases associated with thrombocytopenia (a condition causing low platelet levels).
  • In other news, on 24 March, the Commission announced that it will strengthen the transparency and authorisation mechanism of Covid-19 vaccine exports. To this end, it has introduced the principles of “reciprocity” and “proportionality” as additional criteria to be considered when authorising exports.

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