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Parliamentary questions
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12 February 2021
Question for written answer  E-000882/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Juozas Olekas (S&D), Magdalena Adamowicz (PPE), István Ujhelyi (S&D), Manuel Pizarro (S&D), Andris Ameriks (S&D), Valdemar Tomaševski (ECR), Sara Cerdas (S&D), Elisabetta Gualmini (S&D), Marek Paweł Balt (S&D), Barry Andrews (Renew), Andreas Schieder (S&D), Robert Biedroń (S&D)
 Subject: Establishment of HERA and the outcomes of the meeting of 31 January 2021

The challenges of the current pandemic have once again shown that the EU needs a health union and a solidarity mechanism to manage health crises. In the legal package for the establishment of the European Health Union, the Commission also proposes the creation of the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA). One of the first steps in setting up this authority was a discussion on 31 January 2021 between the Commission President and industry leaders about the bio-defence preparedness initiative. This initiative should strengthen European vaccine production technologies and increase the EU’s resilience to potential new health threats. The discussion took place in a strictly limited format with several pharmaceutical industry representatives who had signed advanced purchase agreements for COVID-19 vaccines.

1. Could the Commission indicate when other actors will become involved in this process, in particular smaller European biotechnology companies and representatives of civil society?

2. Have the timetables for HERA and the bio-defence preparedness initiative, including the milestones and the role of Parliament, already been established?

3. How will the bio-defence preparedness initiative enhance the EU’s overall biological preparedness and health security?

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