The Council approved conclusions which draw on the lessons from the current pandemic and cover four important areas.
Improving EU crisis management
The Council takes note of the general need to enhance the Union’s crisis management and preparedness by strengthening the EU health security framework and underlines the need to further strengthen information exchange on national surveillance measures and within the EU, and calls upon the Commission to assess the need for further effective contact-tracing mechanisms with regard to all modes of transport.
Ensuring the supply of medicinal products
The Council invites the Commission to reinforce existing EU level tools in order to collect information on the whole supply chain, such as sources of supply, global manufacturing sites for active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and other pharmaceutical substances. It also invites the Commission to explore possibilities of facilitating the maintenance in the EU and the relocation to the EU of API manufacturing sites for critical medicinal products.
Improving access to and sharing of health data
Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that aggregated health data can strengthen infectious disease surveillance, the Council calls upon the Commission, the member states, and all relevant stakeholders to collaborate in order to create a functioning European Health Data Space (EHDS). The EHDS will contribute to the cross-border use and re-use of health data for better healthcare, better research, as well as better policy-making and regulatory activities in health.
Strengthening the EU’s role in global health
The Council recalls the conclusions adopted on 6 November 2020 on the role of the EU in strengthening the WHO as the leading and coordinating authority on global health.
The conclusions were approved by written procedure.