IATE Term of the Week: European Health Union


The European Health Union is a new initiative proposed by the European Commission that will take place in all of the countries of the European Union in order to create a better coordination between them on everything related to health.

Its main aim is to strengthen the health solidarity inside the European Union. The questions regarding the European health systems were raised as a consequence of the global pandemic of Covid-19. The different management of the pandemic by the 27 countries showed that there was a high need for a better coordination regarding health issues. The European Health Union will, for example, help to increase the availability of high quality medical supplies and low cost pharmaceutical products. The use of innovative material and treatments as well as the increase of health research and scientific analysis will also be encouraged.

The best example of these new measures is the access to the Covid-19 vaccine. This whole project focuses on the equal access to all the medical supplies for everyone. The Covid-19 vaccine must be available and widely spread in order to make sure that everyone can have access to it. Medical resources will also be extended to make sure no one is left behind.

However, the European Health Union was not only built to respond to the global pandemic needs, but will be implemented permanently and will meet the needs for all health issues. The European health systems must work on the same level in order to share the same goals and to maintain a proper coherence in the patient care. This strengthened coordination is the main key to improve health systems in Europe and to face all kinds of situations, including emergencies and future threats to our health. Healthcare professionals will also have access to specific trainings and will be prepared to face and to react immediately to the next challenges. As a whole, these changes will lead to an increased health security.

Prevention is also one of the main key word of this new initiative and shows its full meaning when it comes to the cross border threats that have to be taken into consideration in the future. The Covid-19 pandemic is not an isolated case and other pandemics will come in the next years. Any other issue related to environmental problems, such as global warming and pollution, will have to be seriously discussed in order to be well managed by all member-states of the European Union.

References :

European Commission. 2022. European Health Union. [ONLINE] Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/promoting-our-european-way-life/european-health-union_en. [Accessed 24 February 2022].

European Commission. 2022. Building a European Health Union: Stronger crisis preparedness and response for Europe. [ONLINE] Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_2041. [Accessed 24 February 2022].

European Commission. 2022. European Health Union: Commission welcomes agreement on a stronger European Medicines Agency. [ONLINE] Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_21_5599. [Accessed 24 February 2022].

European Health Union. 2022. Manifesto for a European Health Union. [ONLINE] Available at: https://europeanhealthunion.eu/. [Accessed 24 February 2022].

Eur Lex. 2022. COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS Building a European Health Union: Reinforcing the EU’s resilience for cross-border health threats. [ONLINE] Available at: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX:52020DC0724. [Accessed 24 February 2022].

Written by Cécile Mayeres

She holds a Master’s degree in Translation and Cross-Cultural Communication with a specialization in European mobility. She now does a traineeship in Communication at the Terminology Coordination Unit.