EESC Opinion: Health safety: a collective obligation and a new right

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EESC Opinion: Health safety: a collective obligation and a new right

Key points:

At European level, public health administration is inadequate and has very weak legal support. It also lacks medical legitimacy, owing to the scarcity of resources. All that must be improved.

The establishment of a European public health network is evidence of the willingness of all European authorities to pool public health players and make existing national health vigilance instruments more consistent and effective.

Through becoming aware of the successive public health crises which have shaken the world over the past two decades, the European Economic and Social Committee proposes to hold regular high level European congresses on public health.

The aim of these conferences will be to discuss what collective measures should be taken, provide precise information on these crises, produce coordinated responses, assess the threats of risks from outside, help speed up diagnoses and provide adequate responses.

The European Economic and Social Committee recommends that the future European health monitoring centre in Stockholm be given as of now an extensive and reinforced mandate to draw up targeted and regular reports on public health and have the necessary measures taken by the EU countries, in accordance with the subsidiarity principle.

The European Economic and Social Committee would point out that its recommendations are interlinked and require a strong commitment by the EU countries to implement them; they include:

  • boosting administrative capacities, with cross-border linkage and administration recognised and allowed everywhere.
  • legal powers and the instruments to support them.
  • transparent decision-making procedures and stricter ethics, shared by all, regarding communications on health safety.
  • more cooperation and worldwide networking between all surveillance and monitoring bodies.