European Union competences in the area of communicable diseases – experiences and lessons learned from the Covid-19 crisis

Sjeničić, Marta Ž. and Milenković, Marko (2021) European Union competences in the area of communicable diseases – experiences and lessons learned from the Covid-19 crisis. Srpska politička misao = Serbian Political Thought, 74 (4). pp. 59-81. ISSN 0354-5989

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In the European Union, healthcare and public health are mostly within the competence of Member States. Still, in a number of sub-domains, coordination between Member States led to the adoption of legislation that formed the healthcare acquits, together with a whole set of programs and initiatives aimed at improving public health within the Union. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) was formed in 2004 to help EU institutions and Member States identify and assess the risk of current and emerging threats to human health from communicable diseases. At the end of July 2020, Member States reached a general agreement on the recovery plan, but the final agreement had not been adopted by the end of the year. On the other hand, in the spring of 2020, EU launched a global action for universal access to tests, treatments and vaccines against coronavirus and for global recovery, while in October 2020, it presented the strategies on vaccine allocation and additional Covid-19 response measures. In November 2020, a new framework was proposed for the improvement of the response to cross-border health threats, as well as for the expansion of the role of EU agencies – ECDC and the European Medicines Agency, related to coordination of preparedness measures and response to public health threats. This initiative came within a wider proposal entitled “European Health Union”. Hence, soon after the crisis broke out, different initiatives were launched to improve the institutional system for communicable disease control in Europe and assistance provided to the Member States. Still, these changes remain within the framework prescribed in the contracts and keep the responsibility, for the most part, at the level of Member States with the possibility of EU assisting, coordinating and helping the Member States in the situations that exceed their capacities; they also emphasize that the main role of the Union can and should be in the field of economic assistance, which is what the unique proposed assistance package has shown.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Covid-19 crisis, European Union, public health, competencies, ECDC.
Institutional centre: Centre for legal research
Depositing User: Vesna Jovanović
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2022 09:00
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2022 09:00

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