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...
Innovative solutions that improve people's lives, platforms that better communicate these solutions, and address ethical, social and environmental issues are the pillars of responsible research and innovation (RRI). Today RRI is one of the answers to meet the needs arising from society for safer, more ethically acceptable and better quality health solutions. A conference held at the EESC on 18-19 May explored how civil society is involved in this process and how to make its contribution more effective.
On 5 April, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)'s NAT section invited supporters and opponents of the European Citizens' Initiative calling for a ban on glyphosate to debate in its premises. A million supporters from at least 7 member states are needed in order for the Commission to consider taking action about this substance along the demands of the ECI. After two months the initiative has already collected over 640,000 signatures. The ECI includes three requests: firstly, a ban on glyphosate, secondly, a reform of the pesticide approval procedure, and thirdly, setting EU-wide mandatory reduction targets for pesticide use.
At the EESC plenary debate with Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas, the EESC reiterated its unwavering support for a European Health Union. It urged the Commission to be ambitious in the implementation of the new European care strategy, which aims to ensure that each and every European has access to affordable and high-quality healthcare
The European Union needs not only to improve the preparedness of its health system but also to address inequalities within the Union and globally. It needs to move quickly to assess the public health action taken to date