The COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak constitutes a grave emergency and represents a situation unprecedented since the end of the Second World War. Especially for the most deprived, the crisis risks disrupting the support provided by the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD).
On 30 June, the Diversity Europe Group held a webinar under the banner of the Conference on the Future of Europe on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the mental health and employability of young people.
With recent surveys showing that 66% of Europeans would like the EU to have more say over health-related matters, and more than a half in favour of public health becoming the EU's top priority in terms of expenditure, the EU should start playing a more active role in protecting the health of its citizens. The EESC thinks that the Commission's recent package on an EU Health Union is a step in the right direction.
Hailed as ambitious and holistic, Europe's new plan for beating cancer has met with applause from cancer organisations and civil society. Now, as the pandemic is taking a heavy toll on cancer detection and care, the plan needs to be urgently and properly implemented. So much is at stake – without decisive action, Europe may face a cancer tsunami, with the disease projected to become the leading cause of mortality in just under 15 years.
Faced with many barriers and less able to maintain social and physical distance, persons with disabilities are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 and falling severely ill as a result of the disease. However, in the EU they have not been explicitly included in priority groups for vaccination
COVID-19 has blatantly exposed all the cracks and fissures in the European health systems and shown the EU to be unprepared for dealing with major health emergencies. But the first building blocks of the future European Health Union, recently proposed by the Commission, look promising and may give the EU the right weapons to fight pandemics in the future
The European Economic and Social Committee backs up the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative of the European Commission. The initiative is aimed at promoting investment in the healthcare systems of the European Member States and other sectors of their economies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, the EU would mobilise cash reserves, i.e. unspent pre-financing for EU funds, and provide financial support.
On 25 March 2020, the European Economic and Social Committee adopted a generally favourable position on the European Commission's proposal to amend the Council Regulation on the European Union Solidarity Fund in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The proposed regulation aims to provide financial assistance to Member States and countries negotiating their accession to the European Union that are seriously affected by major public health emergencies, such as the current pandemic.
Transformation process requires European-wide cooperation
The European institutions must spearhead the optimizing of Europe's medical technology industry, as its performance is currently plagued by excessive fragmentation and growing competition pressures, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) said at its plenary session on 14 February.
The European Commission should carry out an impact assessment of a possible inclusion of substances which are toxic for reproduction in the scope of its Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (CMD), the EESC said at its May plenary session. While welcoming the opening of a three-fold process to revise the CMD for the first time in more than 10 years, the EESC recommended that the last batch of the revision, planned for 2018, should pay greater attention to...