EESC opinion: Serious cross-border threats to health

Key points

  • The European Economic and Social Committee supports the proposal for a decision on serious cross-border threats to health.
  • It welcomes the approach adopted, which takes the successful system for communicable diseases and an analysis of recent crises as a basis for remedying the shortcomings of the current mechanism, as allowed for by the Lisbon treaty.
  • Europe-wide coordination that cuts across sectoral boundaries will be needed in order to counter risks that do not stop at borders more effectively. 
  • Nonetheless, the Committee stresses that all elements of civil society must be involved both in planning to ensure preparedness for crisis situations, and in communication should a crisis occur. An approach that limits coordination to healthcare professionals and civil protection experts is no longer in keeping with the way society operates, with the media having a significant role in disseminating information to the public.