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Building up resilience to cross-border health threats: Moving towards a European health union [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Nicole Scholz (1st edition),

© m3ron / Adobe Stock

On 11 November 2020, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation on serious cross-border threats to health. In the light of lessons learned from the Covid-19 crisis, it aims to strengthen the EU’s health security by revising Decision No 1082/2013/EU (the ‘Cross-Border Health Threats Decision’). The proposal was presented in a package that also includes proposals to strengthen the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), as first steps towards a European health union.

Stakeholders widely welcome the proposal and the package. Some say it could be improved further, suggesting concrete elements, while others think it should go beyond crisis preparedness. Still others consider it a springboard to a bigger role for the European Union (EU) in health. Parliament has repeatedly called for stronger cooperation on health, for a new regulation to replace the Cross-Border Health Threats Decision, and for revised mandates of both the ECDC and the EMA.

Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety is responsible for the file and the rapporteur’s draft report is expected to be presented in committee on 22 April 2021. In Council, work is ongoing in the working party on pharmaceuticals and medical devices.


Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on serious cross-border threats to health and repealing Decision No 1082/2013/EU
Committee responsible: Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) COM(2020) 727

Véronique Trillet-Lenoir (Renew, France)

2020/0322 (COD)
Shadow rapporteurs: Esther de Lange (EPP, Netherlands)
Sara Cerdas (S&D, Portugal)
Joëlle Mélin (ID, France)
Kateřina Konečná (The Left, Czechia)
Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Discussion of draft report

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