EU passes legislature to address cross-border health threats

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control passed legislature on Oct. 22 that improves the European Union's preparedness plan against communicable diseases and cross-border health threats.

The decision, which went into effect on Nov. 6, was developed to increase health security in the EU, with regard to emerging health threats in bordering regions. The decision was created to help Member States prepare for a range of potential health threats, including chemical and biological threats, natural disasters and communicable diseases.

The new legislature has four main guidelines, which include increasing preparedness planning, increasing awareness and preparedness for cross-border threats, increasing vaccine responses to emerging threats and increasing the legal authority of the Health Security Committee.

The decision seeks to increase collaboration and coordination in the event of a health emergency to reduce the impact it can potentially have on the economy, health and society. By the terms of the agreement, the HSC gained the authority to make decisions on national responses to emerging health threats and to run educational campaigns to the public and healthcare workers.