European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA): Pre-legislative synthesis of national, regional and local positions on the European Commission's initiative

Briefing 15-10-2021

This Briefing forms part of an EPRS series which offers a synthesis of the pre-legislative state-of-play and advance consultation on a range of key European Commission priorities during the latter’s five-year term in office. It seeks to summarise the state of affairs in the relevant policy field, examine how existing policy is working on the ground, and identify best practice and ideas for the future on the part of governmental organisations at all levels of European system of multilevel governance. This analysis of the positions of partner organisations at EU, national, regional and local levels suggests that they would like the following main considerations to be reflected in discussion of the legislative proposal to establish an emergency framework for a European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA): * Governmental organisations at all levels advocate a robust operational and infrastructural framework, with a long-term vision, a coherent legal structure and efficient decision-making procedures. They generally favour a comprehensive impact assessment in advance of the establishment of HERA. * Public authorities at national, regional and local levels suggest that the HERA should develop a strong relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO). Some governmental organisations especially stress the need for robust links with developing countries. * Public authorities agree on the need for a clear interface between HERA, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). A further issue is the relationship between HERA and existing EU operational crisis management mechanisms, where national authorities recommend avoiding duplication of work. They also suggest taking into account regional and local circumstances in a coordinated crisis response. * Many governmental organisations hold a rather positive view of the interaction between the EU and the national levels, where HERA could have a beneficial coordinating role, although some public authorities have expressed concern about possible conflicts of competence between national and EU levels in the health sector.