12 Apr, 2020

ALDE President calls for a common EU health policy

ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen and Former Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passy call on European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and High Representative of the European Union Josep Borrell to build a European Health Shield against future pandemics in an open letter that sets out several measures to reduce the risk of pandemics like the on-going COVID-19.

In their letter, van Baalen and other signatories highlight the need for a new, common EU sanitary and human health protection policy, The Health Shield Europe (HeShEU). This policy should, in cooperation with NATO, reduce the risks of future pandemics and improve poor sanitary infrastructure worldwide. At the moment, the poor sanitation and water conditions in some geographical areas, combined with “wet markets”, increase the risk for spreading diseases.

The open letter highlights possible temporary regulatory measures, such as the one listed below, that can be put in place to improve the situation:

It is also necessary to review the industrial policy of Member States and ensure the production, delivery, transportation and stock of essential health care products. Moreover, a European quarantine policy or a sort of medical Schengen agreement can support the free movement of people during crises and improve European medical cooperation.

The letter also encourages President von der Leyen to initiate a high-level Advisory Council on Unimaginable Threats and Emergencies (ACUTE) that could advise the EU on an “unimaginable but still very real future”.

Read the open letter in full here

I call - with former Bulgarian Foreign Minister @PassySolomon - on @EU_Commission Ursula von der Leyen and @NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to build a European Health Shield against future pandemics! https://t.co/LSAzs9GGoo

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