(03 November 2021) – 19 European health NGOs have asked that HERA be more transparent, prioritise the public interest, and involve Parliament more in the decision-making process, in a joint letter published today.
The Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) is the new European health agency launched last September by the Commission to complete the European Health Union. Since its creation, the agency has faced criticism from NGOs and MEPs.
The list of concerns was signed by 19 organisations, including the European Alliance for Responsible R&D and Affordable Medicines, the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), the Treatment Action Group (TAG) and Médecins du Monde International Network (MdM International.
HERA should work for the “public interest”, focus Research and Development (R&D) on “public health needs”, remain “accountable” to EU citizens, and strengthen the EU’s position as a world leader for “equitable and affordable access to medical tools”.
In its current form, there is insufficient clarity about the mechanisms that would be put in place to guarantee good governance, transparency and accountability, the organisations said. They also call for a “democratic and participatory debate” between the Council, the Commission, the Parliament, and civil society, regretting the lack of “meaningful discussions” so far. (Euractiv)