Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA): the European Commission launches a public consultation – The European Sting – Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology
This article is presented to you in collaboration with the European Commission.
On March 31, the Commission launched an online public consultation on the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA). As part of the EU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and a strong European Health Union, HERA aims to improve Europe’s capacity and preparedness to respond to cross-border health threats and emergencies.
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “COVID-19 has revealed gaps in our collective preparedness and response. The Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority, the EU HERA, is a fundamental part of the solution we need for the next health crisis to better prepare and respond faster, together. HERA will strengthen our foresight, our preparation, our anticipation and our response. In order to ensure that it responds as quickly as possible to current and future challenges, we will listen very carefully to the views of stakeholders. And we will prepare an ambitious proposal that will make HERA a solid pillar of a European Health Union.
From March 31, a public consultation will be open for six weeks, consisting of questions on:
- the EU framework for developing, manufacturing and deploying medical countermeasures;
- advance threat and risk assessments;
- market dynamics and supply chain intelligence;
- development and financing of new countermeasures in times of crisis;
- impact, role, scope and coordination of a future HERA.
HERA is part of the European Health Union as announced by the President von der Leyen in his State of the Union address in September 2020. He will provide a dedicated structure to support the development, manufacture and deployment of medical countermeasures during a natural or deliberate health crisis. HERA could use foresight, surveillance and business intelligence to plan and coordinate medical countermeasures.
Preparing the ground for the new Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority, the Commission launched on February 17 the new European biodefense preparedness plan against COVID-19 variants called the “HERA Incubator”. HERA will build on actions launched through the incubator and provide a permanent structure for risk modeling, global oversight, technology transfers, manufacturing capacity, supply chain risk mapping, capacity flexible manufacturing and research and development of vaccines and drugs.
The consultation will last 6 weeks, until May 12, 2021.
Along with the public consultation, the Commission will also hold talks with Member States and stakeholders.
The exact remits of HERA will be defined in a legislative proposal later this year. The Commission will examine the comments received before finalizing the legislative proposal.