#TheFutureIsYours Prescribing a healthier future for Europeans
Towards a European Health Union. Individual challenges, collective solution
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Institute of Romania are pleased to invite you to the debate "Towards a European Health Union. Individual Challenges, Collective Solution" in the series of events dedicated to the Conference on the Future of Europe. The debate will take place on 22 November 2021 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and will take place in online format (Zoom), in line with the attached agenda. Background: Health is a dominant topic in the debate on the future of Europe. Many ideas have already been put forward in citizens’ dialogues, reconfirming interest in quality, accessible, ready to operate with and benefit from technological developments. The State of the Union address in 2021 delivered by President von der Leyen on 15 September 2021 reiterated the importance of joint action in the field of Health, proposing a new EU-wide health preparedness and resilience mission that should be backed up by a EUR 50 billion Team Europe investment by 2027. Main topics for discussion: • Healthcare — how we can improve European cooperation to better protect EU citizens, especially young people and children. • Investment in health research, development and innovation. The interventions of the invited experts will be followed by a Q & A session, based on questions from the participants, which can also be flagged through the registration form for the event.
Event reportOn 22 November 2021, the European Institute of Romania (EIR), in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, organised the debate on "Towards a European Health Union. Individual challenges, collective solution" (online format — Zoom). The event is part of the series dedicated to the Conference on the Future of Europe and its main objective was to promote the debate on the future of Europe and to raise awareness of the need for European health skills, as well as to diversify European instruments to increase the quality of health services and investment in research, innovation and development in this field. The following key ideas were presented in the debate: Joint action at European level in the field of health is a necessity in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the shaping of a European Health Union highlighted by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in the State of the Union address. Resilience and solidarity at European level are based on a transformation of the European Union and of the competences it can acquire in the field of health, in the broad sense of drawing up guidelines for action on how the EU can respond to crises, given the significant interdependencies at European level. There is a need to raise awareness of the importance of the resilience of information and communication systems at European and national level, and there is now concern that anti-vaccination discourse may overlap and contaminate the discourse on the functioning and benefits of belonging to the European Union. At national level, it is necessary to study the rise of RoExit, which is based on disinformation on COVID-19 vaccines, and a coherent institutional approach is needed to combat it. At the same time, there is a need to empower institutions and actors spreading false information to support doctors in tackling the effects of the pandemic. Membership of the European Union brings concrete benefits to citizens, thus having access to vaccines and support from other Member States in the form of medical equipment and products. In this respect, synergistic actions are needed for better communication and a clearer explanation of the significant advantages that Romania has as an EU Member State in the field of health, pharmaceutical policy, crisis management, food safety, investments in health, etc. At health system level, the pandemic has demonstrated the importance of prevention, digitalisation and the benefits of regional integration. It is necessary to apply the principles of decentralisation, de-burocratisation and dynamisation in order to increase the quality of medical services, attract external funds for prevention, and increase the attractiveness, independence and professionalisation of the medical profession. Research and innovation in health must be based on a sustainable strategy, encompassing all sectors of the health system, ensuring its continuity in the medium and long term, i.e. connecting with Europe. In this respect, the community of Fresh Blood, partner of EitHealth in Romania, was presented as an example of good practice, which aims to support innovation in the medical field, facilitating access to educational, logistical and financial resources to specialised start-ups.
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