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Parliamentary questions
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9 June 2020
E-001341/2020(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Kyriakides
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-001341/2020

The Commission is working with Member States and international partners on all fronts to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak . The first priority is to guarantee the health and safety of everybody: protecting people from the spread of the virus, supporting the health systems and health workers while maintaining the flow of goods(1), mitigating the effects on the economy(2) and helping people get back to their homes.

Specifically on public health preparedness and crisis management, the Health Security Committee(3) has met over a dozen times since the beginning of 2020 to coordinate the response to COVID-19(4). The Commission is also organising weekly calls with Health Ministers to coordinate response. Before COVID-19, the Commission had already facilitated cross-sectoral work on preparedness in Member States through workshops.

The Commission is also in contact with the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry to ensure that medicines, equipment and testing kits are available to the Member States who need them.

Together with many Member States, the Commission has launched joint procurement tenders for essential medical and protective equipment and is creating a reserve of emergency medical equipment (rescEU stockpile(5)).

Decision 1082/2013/EU(6) on serious cross-border threats to health will be evaluated in 2020 and will include lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Looking forward, when the crisis is over, the Commission will draw lessons from it and look closely at the way public health is dealt with at EU level in the future. It is at this stage however too early to say whether the evaluation will lead to a review of the decision.

(1)https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_20_468
(2)https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_459
(3)https://ec.europa.eu/health/preparedness_response/risk_management/hsc/members_en
(4)https://ec.europa.eu/health/hsc_covid19_en
(5)https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_47
(6)https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/preparedness_response/docs/decision_serious_crossborder_threats_22102013_en.pdf
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