Strengthening the EU’s Response Capacity to Health Emergencies: Insights from EU Crisis Management Mechanisms
European Journal of Risk Regulation
1 - 13 p.
santé, crise sanitaire, gestion de crise, Union européenne
What could a European Union (EU) response mechanism to health emergencies look like in the context of a more integrated Health Union? Despite an increased EU role in the preparedness, monitoring and coordination of health emergencies over the past two decades, Member States’ responses to the first wave of COVID-19 were surprisingly uncoordinated. In light of calls to improve cooperation regarding future health emergencies, this article discusses the creation of EU surveillance, preparedness and response mechanisms for health emergencies. Using insights from previous research and secondary literature, we highlight gaps in the existing serious cross-border health threats regulatory framework and discuss opportunities for further EU action. Based on a comparison with other EU crisis management mechanisms (the Banking Union, risk preparedness in the electricity sector and food safety), we discuss different crisis decision-making and coordination models and their potential applicability to the health sector. We then formulate several propositions to strengthen Decision 1082/2013/EU on serious cross-border health threats to streamline ex ante pandemic preparedness and organise emergency responses.