The Commission works closely with Members States to increase the capacity for rapid response and preparation for possible pandemics, primarily through the framework to improve preparedness and strengthen the capacity to coordinate response to health emergencies foreseen in EU Decision 1082/2013/EU on serious cross-border threats to health(1). The Commission cooperates with the Member States within the Health Security Committee to coordinate preparedness and response to the emergence of threats of biological, chemical, environmental and unknown origin.
The Council conclusions on lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa(2) identified the fostering of stronger involvement of relevant work and experiences of civil society and non-governmental organisations as a key action.
Under the EU Health Programme(3), support is provided to Member States through training and exercises, and by facilitating the sharing of experiences, guidelines and procedures involving relevant stakeholders. On the basis of the Joint Procurement Agreement(4) the Commission works with Member States to jointly procure medical countermeasures, including protective equipment and vaccines.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is in addition working on fostering operational research on community and institutional preparedness in Europe, through collecting evidence and developing guidance for national public health emergency preparedness plans.