Towards a European Health Union: how far have we come in strengthening health system resilience in Europe?

1 December 2022 | 14:00-15:00 | Online

The responses to the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated what the EU can achieve in health and health systems. We have seen joint procurement of vaccines. The mandate of existing EU agencies like the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have been expanded. They have been joined by the Health Emergency and Response Authority (HERA) whose sole mission is to prepare for, and deal with, future health emergencies, and the expanded use of civil protection mechanisms and other important instruments. In March 2021, the European Parliament approved the EU4Health programme, with a budget of €5.3 billion, more than 10 times the budget of previous health programmes. And there is more to come including the new pharmaceutical strategy and the global health strategy.

So are we already on a road to a European Health Union that will strengthen the resilience of our health systems? Given the permacrisis we are facing, strengthening the resilience of health systems against external shocks is a priority.  And the EU can play a central role in supporting its Member States to improve health system resilience. Various EU support tools are available to for this, but their uptake has varied between countries. 

In this webinar we discussed how far we have come in establishing a European Health Union, what further support is needed from the perspective of Member States to strengthen the resilience of health systems, and how we can maintain the momentum for health and health systems in the EU.  

This is the fourth installment in a series of webinars on the European Health Union initiative, aiming at advancing the European Health Union beyond crisis preparedness and adding value for societies and citizens. The webinars are jointly organised by the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, and, the European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG).



Johannes Rauch

Federal Minister of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection, Austria

Maya Matthews

Acting Director, Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), European Commission

Ricardo Baptista Leite


Sarada Das

Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME), Secretary General

Nicole Mauer

Technical Officer, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies

Matthias Wismar

Programme Manager, European Observatory for Health Systems and Policies

Dorli Kahr-Gottlieb

Secretary General, European Health Forum Gastein

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The European Health Forum Gastein has received funding under a project grant from the European Union’s EU4Health programme 2021-2027. Views and opinions expressed on this website are however those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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