Opening Remarks by Commissioner Stella Kyriakides at the First Meeting of the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) Civil Society Forum

(Source: European Commission)

“Check against delivery”

Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to the first meeting of the HERA Civil Society Forum.

I personally attach great importance to the work of this group and would have liked to physically join you today.

I have been active for many years in the civil society space as a patient advocate, and I know very well the great contribution you can make to policymaking.

As representatives of patients, consumers, and healthcare professionals your voice and expertise are essential for the work of HERA.

As you know, the Health Emergency and Preparedness Authority has been set up to establish a permanent mechanism for responding to crisis.

Over the past two years we have seen that collaboration is central to the EU’s ability to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to health emergencies.

The crisis shown the clear need for the EU to build a strong and genuine European Health Union, in which all EU countries prepare and respond together to health crises; and where innovative medical supplies are available and affordable to all equally.

Ultimately the European Health Agenda is about solidarity and cooperation: it is about how we work together, pool our resources and expertise across a number of fields, to ensure that no one is left behind.

Dear Friends,

We are moving into a new phase of the pandemic. Perhaps a less acute phase.

But the virus is still with us. It is circulating and mutating constantly.

We still lose close to 3000 citizens per week in the EU.

There is no time for complacency.

Health preparedness is a shared responsibility. We need to learn from each other and work better together to ensure protection for all.

I see this new civil society forum as an opportunity for a dynamic relationship where stakeholders come together, take stock of what everyone is doing and provide advice to the Commission, building on your valuable experience.

Your role is essential and there is really important work to be done in this forum.

I wish you a good start, on the right foot.

Privacy Preferences
When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in form of cookies. Here you can change your privacy preferences. Please note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we offer.