Budgets committee MEP backs higher budget for disease prevention and crisis preparedness
The proposed EU health programme for 2021-27 should include funding antibiotics research among its activities, the MEP leading on the programme legislation for the European Parliament’s budgets committee has said. The programme looks set to be created in light of the fragmented initial EU response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Funding [for the initiative] should be based on actions that are traceable, setting union-wide reduction targets for antibiotics and medicine use, and should support the research and development of new antibiotics,” Nicolae Ştefănuță said in his draft opinion paper on the programme, published on 24 June.
The draft will now be considered by the committee, and will feed into the overall Parliament input on the EU4Health programme. Under proposals set out by the European Commission in May, EU4Health would operate alongside the bloc’s 2021-27 R&D programme, Horizon Europe, and invest in disease prevention, crisis preparedness, medicine and equipment procurement, and improving long-term health outcomes.
Ştefănuță urged a higher budget than the €9.4 billion proposed, saying, “the proposed overall amount is a minimum if we want to respond to the citizens expectations and to the well-known weaknesses of our health systems amplified by the pandemic”.