A New Impetus for EU Health Policies: Which agenda in times of crisis? The VideoTalk with Director General Anne Bucher


A New Impetus for EU Health Policies: Which agenda in times of crisis?”. This is the title of the Brussels VideoTalk held on April 29. After a brief introduction by Stefano da Empoli, I-Com President, and Eleonora Mazzoni, I-Com Head of Innovation Area, it was the turn of the guest speaker, Ms. Anne Bucher, Director-General of DG Health and Food Safety (SANTE), European Commission. An open debate among participants, moderated by Mattia Ceracchi, I-Com Head of EU Affairs, followed before Ms Bucher’s closing remarks.

The VideoTalk is the new interactive online event format recently launched by I-Com, designed to cope with the current emergency and to allow I-Com to continue its activities. Following the line of our usual Power Breakfasts, VideoTalks host a high-level speaker from EU Institutions and are open to a restricted number of selected participants.

Today, the COVID-19 pandemic is placing health systems across Europe under enormous strain since the unprecedented surge in demand for intensive care has rapidly brought health systems to a breaking point, with health workers being stretched thin and medical resources becoming scarce. However, not all European countries are impacted to the same extent, thus revealing the different levels and capacity in being able to cope with this external shock.

A considerable number of interventions put in place both at a European and at national levels has speeded up important pre-existing processes through the activation of collaboration and synergies that in “time of peace” seemed to be far from being able to be implemented.

Eventual reforms, should be accompanied by strong investments in innovation, which in turn can contribute to enhancing the effectiveness, accessibility and affordability of European health systems. Delivering on this objective will require an ambitious economic recovery plan together with resilience-building interventions.

The VideoTalk was the opportunity to discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the European health systems, and to evaluate the EU’s public health response to the emergency and the Commission’s efforts to coordinate with Member States. The event also offered the occasion to debate how the current crisis could reshape the EU’s health agenda in the next years and contribute to defining a different approach to EU health policies in the long-term.


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