EU: The Council reached a political agreement on the emergency framework for medical countermeasures

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The European Council, reached a political agreement on a new law that would facilitate the purchase of medicines, vaccines and raw materials, while at the same time it could activate emergency funding and allow the monitoring of production facilities in case of another health crisis.

The Council Regulation will establish a Health Crisis Council to coordinate and complete actions related to medical countermeasures at EU. The regulation establishes monitoring mechanisms and allows the supply and purchase of countermeasures. Defines how to activate the facilities, EU FAB (capacity network for vaccines and drug production), as well as emergency research.

In the Health Crisis Council, which coordinates the provision and access to medical countermeasures at EU level, will be co-chaired by the Commission and the rotating presidency. Member States have also decided that the Commission should consult the Council before taking any action.

In the case of purchases of medical countermeasures and raw materials, Member States may instruct the Commission to act as the central purchasing body. When the Commission intends to conclude a contract, it must inform the participating Member States. They also have the opportunity to comment on the draft contracts – which the Commission should take into account.

Under the current political agreement, the final text (after technical adjustments) will be submitted to the Council for approval in the first months of 2022.

Response: Irini Zarkadoula, Brussels

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