The health of Europeans has occupied a central space in the speech prepared by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, for the debate on the State of the Union 2021.
In the European Parliament, the German has made a big announcement on this front: the launch of HERA, a pandemic health agency that will have a budget of 50,000 million euros from public and private investment.
HERA is the name of a goddess of Olympus. But its initials respond to Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Agency. Brussels takes the step of creating this body after the success of the Covid-19 certificate which it has managed to implement in just two months and with which it has been able to save this European summer and have managed to at the forefront of world vaccination with more than 70% of the population already with the complete guideline.
The European Commission hopes to channel through this agency investment from the Community Budget, the Member States and private companies in order to promote research, science and prevent future pandemics, among others.
The Soteu 2021 (name of this debate) is the second that Von der Leyen pronounces in his mandate. Last year’s was marked by confinements and this year’s has been focused on looking to the future and taking stock of the steps taken by the union in this last exercise.
“A year is a long time in times of pandemic. When I came here I did not know when or if we would have an effective vaccine. But today against all the critics, more than 70% of our population is fully vaccinated. We are the only ones who share half of our vaccines with the rest of the world, “the president stressed.
As he has stated, Brussels’ top priority is “to accelerate global vaccination” and for this, they will add to the 150 million doses they have shared with other countries, other 200 million more. A delivery that he has described as an “investment in solidarity and in global health”.
Von der Leyen has also stated that it is a priority for Europe close the differences between the different States member in the vaccination index. “Let us do everything necessary so that this does not become a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” he asked.
The commitment to create HERA is not new, but already in last year’s speech, the president pointed to the need to create a European Health Union.
“Today we are fulfilling it. With our proposal we will have the Health Authority already in operation,” he stressed before recalling that the EU has the innovation and knowledge of the private sector necessary for success and that now is the time to “combine all this “.
To channel the investment, Team Europe will be used, he explained, before highlighting another of the great achievements that the Commission has achieved in recent months: the issuance of more than 400 million certificates in all Europe.
This is a project that was launched in just two months and that has made it possible to unify criteria by means of European technology that is already operational in all the States.