Strasbourg, January 26 (TASR) – Strengthening the powers of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is another step towards implementing a European Health Union (EHU), which is among the flagship projects of European social democrats, Slovak MEP Miroslav Ciz has stated.
“Slovakia should benefit from the EHU itself through the modernisation of the health-care system and access to knowledge and state-of-the-art procedures that we have in Europe,” said Ciz, as cited by the European Parliament press department.
“The principle of this initiative is that the EHU will ensure that best practices are shared and integrated across the European Union,” the MEP explained.
On January 20, the European Parliament approved an increase in the EMA’s powers. This move was supported by 655 MEPs, while 31 voted against and eight abstained. After approval by the EP, the regulation still needs to be formally endorsed by the EU Council of Ministers. It will then be signed and published in the EU’s Official Journal and should enter into force on March 1, 2022.
“This text will result in a strengthened mandate and resources for the EMA to respond as effectively as possible in the future to shortages of medicines during public health emergencies. I agree that the timely development of quality and safe medicines is key in these situations,” Ciz remarked, adding, however, that he would “call for increased transparency in the future when it comes to decisions, procurement and supply chains in the pharmaceutical industry”.
The future of health care in the EU is among the topics discussed at the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE), which brings together four panels of randomly selected citizens from EU-member states. The third CoFoE citizens’ panel has included boosting the powers of the agency in its recommendations. Each one of the four CoFoE panels will submit its recommendations to the European Parliament. The recommendations will be included in a final report to be drawn up by the CoFoE executive board in the spring.
Anyone can join the debate on the future of the Union via the multilingual digital platform futureu.europa.eu.