Since the beginning of the pandemic COVID-19, the EU has developed a wide range of health policy responses, exemplified by the common approach to vaccines through the EU Vaccines Strategy and initiatives across a range of other policies.
A common approach to assessing infection rates in different regions made testing and quarantining much more consistent. EU Digital COVID Certificates were agreed on and implemented in record time, paving the way for the safe resumption of tourism and travel during summer, and beyond.
At the same time, the EU took decisive action to tackle the economic fallout of the pandemic with funds and special economic aid for Member states, entreprises and citizens.
Work is also ongoing to strengthen the EU Health Union following lessons learned from the pandemic: reinforcing the mandates of the European Medicines Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, addressing cross-border threats to health and creating a future-proof EU pharmaceutical policy. MEPs obtained better support for the EU4Health programme in the 2022 EU budget, with an additional €51 million to build up a strong Health Union and to make national health systems more resilient.
Effective coordination of national measures as well as solidarity among member states together with the importance of making national health systems more sustainable and resilient are the main challenges of the EU, learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.