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Boosting cooperation on health technology assessment

15-07-2021

The European Commission has proposed a regulation on health technology assessment (HTA). HTA is a research-based tool that supports decision-making in healthcare by assessing the added value of a given health technology compared to others. The proposal would provide the basis for permanent EU-level cooperation in four areas. Member States would still be responsible for assessing the non-clinical (economic, ethical, social, etc.) aspects of health technology, and for pricing and reimbursement. While ...

The European Commission has proposed a regulation on health technology assessment (HTA). HTA is a research-based tool that supports decision-making in healthcare by assessing the added value of a given health technology compared to others. The proposal would provide the basis for permanent EU-level cooperation in four areas. Member States would still be responsible for assessing the non-clinical (economic, ethical, social, etc.) aspects of health technology, and for pricing and reimbursement. While Member States could choose to delay participation in the joint work until three years after the rules enter into force, it would become mandatory after six years. Stakeholders broadly welcomed the Commission proposal. National parliaments, however, are divided in their appreciation of it. The provisional agreement, applauded by some stakeholders, has been criticised by the pharmaceutical industry, in particular, for its lack of ambition. The European Parliament adopted its final position at first reading on 14 February 2019. In the Council, work was carried out under seven consecutive presidencies. On 24 March 2021, the co-legislators reached a provisional agreement in interinstitutional trilogue negotiations. The Council's Permanent Representatives Committee endorsed the provisional agreement on 30 June 2021. Parliament's ENVI committee voted in favour of the text on 13 July 2021. Council and then Parliament are expected to formally adopt it in the coming months. Fourth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

The coronavirus pandemic in Latin America

28-04-2021

Latin America is among the world's regions worst affected by Covid-19, and its economies, employment and even human rights are already suffering seriously, and are expected to continue to do so. Governments and international organisations, including the EU, are making efforts to mitigate the consequences, but the results remain uncertain. This is an update of an 'At a glance' note from October 2020.

Latin America is among the world's regions worst affected by Covid-19, and its economies, employment and even human rights are already suffering seriously, and are expected to continue to do so. Governments and international organisations, including the EU, are making efforts to mitigate the consequences, but the results remain uncertain. This is an update of an 'At a glance' note from October 2020.

EU4Health programme

22-04-2021

On 28 May 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on a new health programme (EU4Health) for 2021 to 2027. Announced as part of the Next Generation EU (NGEU) recovery instrument, according to the Commission, the EU4Health programme is intended to boost the EU's preparedness for major cross-border health threats and improve health systems' resilience. EU4Health would be a stand-alone, dedicated funding programme with an originally proposed budget of €10.4 billion (in current ...

On 28 May 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on a new health programme (EU4Health) for 2021 to 2027. Announced as part of the Next Generation EU (NGEU) recovery instrument, according to the Commission, the EU4Health programme is intended to boost the EU's preparedness for major cross-border health threats and improve health systems' resilience. EU4Health would be a stand-alone, dedicated funding programme with an originally proposed budget of €10.4 billion (in current prices). However, during the negotiations on the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF) and NGEU, the budget for EU4Health was revised downwards, with the July 2020 European Council conclusions allocating the programme €1.7 billion. On 14 December 2020, Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement on the programme, including a budget of €5.1 billion. Stakeholders had broadly welcomed the proposal, but generally regretted the European Council's reduction of the financial envelope allocated to it. The co-legislators' December agreement on an increased budget was thus positively received. After adoption by the Parliament and Council in March 2021, based on the text agreed in trilogue, the final act was signed by the presidents of the co-legislators on 24 March 2021. Regulation (EU) 2021/522 entered into force on 27 March 2021 and applies retroactively from 1 January 2021. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Alcohol labelling

20-04-2021

In its Europe's Beating Cancer plan, published in February 2021, the European Commission suggests – among other initiatives concerning cancer prevention – several actions concerning alcoholic beverages, such as limiting online advertising and promotion, and reviewing European Union (EU) legislation on the taxation of alcohol. Also among the proposals is mandatory labelling of ingredients and nutrient content on alcoholic beverages by the end of 2022. Health warnings on labels should follow by the ...

In its Europe's Beating Cancer plan, published in February 2021, the European Commission suggests – among other initiatives concerning cancer prevention – several actions concerning alcoholic beverages, such as limiting online advertising and promotion, and reviewing European Union (EU) legislation on the taxation of alcohol. Also among the proposals is mandatory labelling of ingredients and nutrient content on alcoholic beverages by the end of 2022. Health warnings on labels should follow by the end of 2023. Labelling of ingredients and nutritional values on alcoholic drinks already has a long history. First attempts to label ingredients were made in the late 1970s, resulting in the Council not being able to agree on any of the proposed models. Alcoholic drinks containing more than 1.2 % by volume of alcohol (ABV) are exempted from the obligation set on other drinks and foodstuffs, to list the ingredients and make a nutritional declaration on the label. The European Commission adopted a report in 2017, concluding that it had 'not found objective grounds that would justify' the absence of information on ingredients and nutritional information on alcoholic beverages. Following on from the Commission's report, the European associations representing the alcoholic beverages sectors presented their self-regulation proposal in March 2018, suggesting that some sectors would list all ingredients on labels, while others could use online means of communication instead. Stakeholders have differing views on the desirability and feasibility of such listings on-label; some would prefer this information to be allowed to be given off-label through QR-codes, apps or websites, while others absolutely insist that alcoholic drinks should be no different from other sectors of the food and drink industry. The European Parliament has called on the European Commission to consider a health warning and calorie content on alcoholic beverage labels.

Building up resilience to cross-border health threats: Moving towards a European health union

20-04-2021

On 11 November 2020, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation on serious cross-border threats to health. In the light of lessons learned from the Covid-19 crisis, it aims to strengthen the EU's health security by revising Decision No 1082/2013/EU (the 'Cross-Border Health Threats Decision'). The proposal was presented in a package that also includes proposals to strengthen the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), ...

On 11 November 2020, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation on serious cross-border threats to health. In the light of lessons learned from the Covid-19 crisis, it aims to strengthen the EU's health security by revising Decision No 1082/2013/EU (the 'Cross-Border Health Threats Decision'). The proposal was presented in a package that also includes proposals to strengthen the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), as first steps towards a European health union. Stakeholders widely welcome the proposal and the package. Some say it could be improved further, suggesting concrete elements, while others think it should go beyond crisis preparedness. Still others consider it a springboard to a bigger role for the European Union (EU) in health. Parliament has repeatedly called for stronger cooperation on health, for a new regulation to replace the Cross-Border Health Threats Decision, and for revised mandates of both the ECDC and the EMA. Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety is responsible for the file and the rapporteur's draft report is expected to be presented in committee on 22 April 2021. In Council, work is ongoing in the working party on pharmaceuticals and medical devices. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Europe's Beating Cancer plan: Quick overview and initial reactions

24-03-2021

On 3 February 2021, the European Commission presented Europe's Beating Cancer plan, slightly delayed on account of the pandemic. The plan is a key European Union (EU) public health initiative and a cornerstone of the European health union process launched in November 2020. Responsibility for health lies primarily with the governments of the individual EU Member States. Europe's Beating Cancer plan sets out actions to support, coordinate or supplement Member States' efforts at every stage of the disease ...

On 3 February 2021, the European Commission presented Europe's Beating Cancer plan, slightly delayed on account of the pandemic. The plan is a key European Union (EU) public health initiative and a cornerstone of the European health union process launched in November 2020. Responsibility for health lies primarily with the governments of the individual EU Member States. Europe's Beating Cancer plan sets out actions to support, coordinate or supplement Member States' efforts at every stage of the disease: from prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, to an improved quality of life for cancer patients and survivors. Cross-cutting themes include research and innovation, digital and personalised medicine, and action to reduce cancer inequalities across the EU. A particular focus will be on childhood cancers. The plan consists of 10 flagship initiatives and 32 supporting actions, to be rolled out over the coming years. Implementation will be monitored by means of a roadmap and progress indicators, and the Commission will establish an EU cancer plan implementation group. With a €4 billion budget, the plan will make use of all available funding instruments, including the new EU4Health programme, Horizon Europe, and the Digital Europe programme. EU institutional actors and public and private stakeholders have widely commented on Europe's Beating Cancer plan. While non-governmental organisations and industry associations broadly welcome the plan and its ambition, some have criticised specific elements. The European Parliament's Special Committee on Cancer is working on an own-initiative report that will be Parliament's contribution to Europe's Beating Cancer plan. Health and Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides has stressed that Parliament and its special committee has played an important role in shaping the plan, and will also be instrumental during its implementation.

The impact of the coronavirus crisis on Roma and Travellers

23-03-2021

The EU's Roma and Traveller communities are among those most at risk of contracting Covid-19. This only adds to the multiple difficulties they face as regards employment, education, housing and health, compounded by discrimination and anti-Gypsyism. To tackle this situation, the European Commission has introduced targeted measures and provided financial support. The European Parliament has repeatedly expressed its deep concern about the conditions of the Roma and people of other backgrounds during ...

The EU's Roma and Traveller communities are among those most at risk of contracting Covid-19. This only adds to the multiple difficulties they face as regards employment, education, housing and health, compounded by discrimination and anti-Gypsyism. To tackle this situation, the European Commission has introduced targeted measures and provided financial support. The European Parliament has repeatedly expressed its deep concern about the conditions of the Roma and people of other backgrounds during the ongoing pandemic.

Plenary round-up – March I 2021

12-03-2021

The highlight of the March I 2021 plenary session was the official signature of the Joint Declaration on the Conference on the Future of Europe, allowing the Conference's work finally to get under way. Another important point was the celebration of International Women's Day, which was held just before the start of the session, with Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States of America, and Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, addressing the plenary in video messages, and Ursula ...

The highlight of the March I 2021 plenary session was the official signature of the Joint Declaration on the Conference on the Future of Europe, allowing the Conference's work finally to get under way. Another important point was the celebration of International Women's Day, which was held just before the start of the session, with Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States of America, and Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, addressing the plenary in video messages, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, also participating, in the chamber. The main debates held during the session concerned the economic impact of the Covid 19 pandemic – focusing on investment, competitiveness and skills, as well as the proposed action plan for the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, in preparation for the Social Summit in Porto in May. Members also discussed the application of the rule of law conditionality mechanism, respect for the partnership principle in the preparation and implementation of national recovery and resilience plans, and ensuring good governance of the expenditure of EU funding. Proposals on the European Semester annual strategies, corporate due diligence and corporate accountability, as well as the InvestEU and EU4Health programmes, were also debated and voted. Parliament also adopted a resolution declaring the EU an LGBTIQ Freedom Zone. Members debated government attempts to silence free media in Poland, Hungary and Slovenia. Debates were held on reforming the EU policy framework to end tax avoidance in the EU following the OpenLux revelations. Members debated statements by High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, Josep Borell, on the current political situation in Georgia and on the continuing conflict in Syria.

Coronavirus: Vaccination debates [What Think Tanks are thinking]

05-03-2021

As the second wave of the coronavirus passes, numbers of new infections and the death rate are currently both in decline globally. At the same time, countries across the world have begun vaccination programmes. In parallel, fears that the impact of the disease will continue, as some new, highly contagious mutations of the virus have spread, have lead governments to adopt additional preventive border restrictions and lockdowns. Among many debates on the subject, two stand out – the slower vaccination ...

As the second wave of the coronavirus passes, numbers of new infections and the death rate are currently both in decline globally. At the same time, countries across the world have begun vaccination programmes. In parallel, fears that the impact of the disease will continue, as some new, highly contagious mutations of the virus have spread, have lead governments to adopt additional preventive border restrictions and lockdowns. Among many debates on the subject, two stand out – the slower vaccination rate in the EU compared to the UK and US, and the imbalance between rich and poor countries in the availability of vaccines, with a third debate, on vaccination passports, emerging rapidly. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from international think tanks on the pandemic and related issues. A previous item from this series on the coronavirus was published in February 2021.

EU4Health programme 2021-2027

03-03-2021

On 28 May 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on the establishment of a programme for the Union's action in the field of health for the 2021-2027 period (EU4Health programme). Interinstitutional negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council were concluded on 14 December 2020 with a provisional agreement on the programme, including a budget of €5.1 billion. Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety endorsed the final compromise ...

On 28 May 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on the establishment of a programme for the Union's action in the field of health for the 2021-2027 period (EU4Health programme). Interinstitutional negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council were concluded on 14 December 2020 with a provisional agreement on the programme, including a budget of €5.1 billion. Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety endorsed the final compromise on 15 January 2021. Parliament's first-reading vote is expected during the March I plenary session.

Kommende begivenheder

21-09-2021
EPRS online Book Talk with David Harley: Inside the room - Shaping Europe, 1992-2010
Anden begivenhed -
EPRS
21-09-2021
Putting the 'e' in e-health
Workshop -
STOA
27-09-2021
Turning the tide on cancer: the national parliaments' view on Europe's Cancer Plan
Anden begivenhed -
BECA

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