Additional €7.7 billion may be needed to prepare EU for next pandemic
Share article:
Share article:

Additional €7.7 billion may be needed to prepare EU for next pandemic

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Another €7.7 billion may be needed to help the European Union deal with the coronavirus and to prepare for future pandemics, Members of the European Parliament said on Wednesday.

The Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, made up of 80 Members of the European Parliament, voted in favour of raising the EU’s budget for health care from €1.7 billion, as proposed by the Special European Council on 21 July, to €9.4 billion. The Commission officials downplayed then the cuts in the proposal, in particular the cut of the funding of the health programme, which was not explained.

According to the MEPs, “COVID-19 has shown that the EU is in urgent need of an ambitious EU health programme to ensure that European health systems can face future health threats”.

74 MEPs voted in favour of the proposal, with five voting against and one abstaining.

With the vote, the MEPs demonstrate their with for the EU4Health programme to be fully funded and implemented in the coming seven years. The “ambitious” programme will help to “enhance health promotion” and “make health systems more resilient across the EU”.

“The COVID-19 crisis has exposed the need for well-defined and adequately-financed health instruments,” Parliament’s rapporteur Cristian-Silviu Buşoi said following the vote.

Buşoi stated “it will be crucial to increase funding for the EU4Health Programme to €9.4 billion”, in order to “have the capacity to deal with future pandemics and health threats, and to make our health systems more resilient”.

The European Parliament and the European Council are currently negotiating the EU’s budget plan for the next seven years. Health care is part of this budget, as well as a €750 billion corona recovery fund.

Last week, negotiations ended early after the European Parliament walked out. Both parties will need to agree on a budget plan before it can be implemented.

Amée Zoutberg
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Covid-19 decisions made ‘too hastily’, socialist leader argues
The government is missing a "general lack of method" when it comes to how coronavirus fighting measures are decided on, according to the leader of ...
Aggression against railway staff more than doubled since 2020
In the first three quarters of 2021, the number of reports of aggression against national railway company SNCB's staff has more than doubled compared ...
Intervention hotline 1722 activated following bad weather warnings
Following bad weather warnings from Belgium's Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (RMI), the Federal Public Service (FPS) Home Affairs has ...
Thousands march in Brussels to raise awareness of violence against women
More than 3,000 people took to the streets of Brussels on Sunday afternoon for a national march to raise awareness of violence against women in ...
Efficacy of vaccines against new variant known in a few weeks, virologist says
The efficacy of the current coronavirus vaccines against the new Omicron variant will be clear in one to two weeks, Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst ...
Scientists could have communicated better during pandemic, survey shows
The majority of Flemish people continue to trust scientists, however, only half of them feel scientists communicated understandably during the ...
Closing borders and new travel restrictions: Countries react to Omicron variant
As more cases of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus are being reported across the world, more and more countries are imposing tougher travel ...
Several rush hour train services to be scrapped from Monday
Up to ten peak time trains to and from Brussels will be temporarily cancelled starting from Monday, Belgian railway company SNCB announced this ...
Europe’s largest vintage clothes store is in Ghent this weekend
Europe's largest pop-up store for second-hand clothes is once again setting up shop in Ghent on Sunday, offering more than five tonnes of vintage ...
Animal welfare in EU’s pig meat sector: What’s wrong?
EU has put into place legislation to ensure that animal welfare conditions are respected in its agricultural policy but the breaches of its ...
‘Not feasible’: Doctors refuse to follow new testing strategy
Doctors have warned they will not follow the government's adapted testing strategy which would see vaccinated people who were in close contact with a ...
Flanders introduces ‘invisible’ speed cameras
New digital speed cameras that are essentially invisible to the road user are being introduced on various roads and motorways in Flanders, Flemish ...