Brussels, 10 November 2020
The Union of European Federalists (UEF) calls on the European Commission to take a step forward by requesting for a Health Union on the basis of Art. 168.5 TFEU in its next proposal for a regulation on severe cross-border health threats:
“Since the beginning of this unprecedented pandemic crisis, Europe has become its global epicentre. The second wave of the COVID-19 is ferociously sweeping the continent, while at the same time drastically reshaping the lives of our European citizens and our European way of life. It is time to act together, with common guidelines and a single regulation in the fight against the virus, to avoid discrepancies that weaken our capacity of reaction”, UEF President and Member of the European Parliament Sandro GOZI says.
"We federalists have been convening, with particular emphasis in these last months, on the urgency to launch a Health Union, necessary to strengthen the mandate of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Art. 168. 5 TFEU provides the legal framework to establish it, on the basis of the principle of subsidiarity, which means that each problem must be tackled at the level where it can be better solved. Since pandemics know no borders, the key to a lasting solution lies with the Health Union as part of a stronger social and political integration at European level”, continues GOZI.
“And the truth is that we are not the only ones who believe this. The Health Union was presented as a key reform by the Commission's President Ursula von der Leyen in her State of the Union Speech in September 2020”, emphasizes GOZI.
President von der Leyen said: “For me, it is crystal clear - we need to build a stronger European Health Union. And to start making this a reality, we must now draw the first lessons from the health crisis”.
UEF reiterates the call on the European institutions to agree on an interinstitutional declaration on the Conference on the Future of Europe.
“It is therefore we demand and expect to see the European Commission's lead on this urgent matter to advance health guarantees for European citizens. In this sense, we call again on the German Presidency of the Council to call for the Conference on the Future of Europe to be launched as soon as possible, to involve citizens in the debate on how to build a stronger European Union”, GOZI concludes.
The Federal Committee of UEF adopted on the 4th of July its resolution “Europe, think the unthinkable!”, in which UEF calls for the launch of a Health Union, among other important and urgent proposals. Find out more here.
Earlier in spring, UEF together with The Spinelli Group called on the European institutions and the national governments to adopt a series of urgent measures. Check them out here.