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Parliamentary questions
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19 April 2022
Answer given by Ms Kyriakides
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: P-000921/2022

The principle of ‘Informed opinion and active cooperation on the part of the public are of the utmost importance in the improvement of the health of the people’ is anchored in the preamble of the Constitution of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In its decision establishing a global process for the drafting and negotiation of a convention, agreement or other international instrument under the WHO Constitution to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response(1), the World Health Assembly recalled the importance of broad engagement to ensure a successful outcome of the process.

In line with this decision to draft and negotiate the new instrument, the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body has agreed on modalities for the engagement in its work of relevant stakeholders. In addition, as per the same decision, the WHO Director-General will hold public hearings to inform the deliberation of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body(2).

On 3 March 2022, the Council of the European Union adopted a decision authorising the Commission to open and conduct negotiations on behalf of the European Union on the new international instrument, as well as on complementary amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005)(3).

In line with the power granted to it under Article 17(1) of the Treaty on European Union(4) and Article 218(3)(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the Commission will act, in the upcoming negotiations, as the Union negotiator for matters falling within Union competence.

In this capacity, the Commission will see to it that the engagement with relevant stakeholders in the work leading to the preparation of the new WHO instrument is ensured.

(1) Decision SSA2(5), https://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHASSA2/SSA2(5)-en.pdf
(2)More information on the modalities of engagement of relevant stakeholders and on the public hearings should be made available on the WHO website: https://apps.who.int/gb/inb/
(4) https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:12008M017&from=ro
(5) https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:12008E218:en:HTML
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