European health data space

Briefing 18-04-2024

European health union: Safeguarding EU citizens’ health

The COVID-19 pandemic shone a light on the growing importance of digital health technologies, both to enable remote medical care and to facilitate the health response from international, national and local authorities. The European Commission's May 2022 proposal for a regulation on a European health data space aims to improve individuals' access to and control over their electronic personal data (primary use), while facilitating data re-use for the good of society across the EU (secondary use). The proposal establishes a set of rules, infrastructure and governance mechanisms to promote the primary and secondary use of electronic health data, while ensuring data protection and strengthening cybersecurity. The Commission expects the initiative to have a broad socio-economic impact. Its success is thought to depend not only on the capacity to implement the legal base effectively, but also on broader conditions such as EU-wide connectivity, social trust and digital skills. The European Parliament's Committees on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) adopted their joint report on 28 November 2023. The Council adopted its general approach on 6 December 2023. Parliament voted the report in plenary on 13 December. ENVI and LIBE endorsed the agreement resulting from interinstitutional negotiations on 9 April 2024. It is due to be put to the vote during the April II 2024 plenary session. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.