Skip directly to content

Health security across the borders

on Thu, 07/04/2013 - 12:20

Most of the main threats to our health do not respect national borders, as clearly proved by the novel Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). For this reason, on July 3rd the European Parliament voted in favour of the Decision on Serious Cross-border Threats to Health, a Directive that includes common procedures and standards for a better coordination between EU countries against communicable diseases and health threats caused by chemical, biological or environmental events.

The European Commission stressed the importance of preparedness planning, risk assessment, risk management and risk communication, thus including all these aspects into the framework that the Decision will address. Also, the Decision will ensure a regular exchange of information between EU countries on their preparedness plans and will extend the Commission's coordination role to all types of health crises.

Such a Decision formalises and strengthens the role of the Health Security Committee, that will thus play a key role in ensuring coherence of actions by Member States to protect human health.