Exemplifying the level of cooperation that’s truly needed in global public health, Members of European Parliament met with representatives from AHF, other NGOs, the European Commission, national authorities, research bodies, the pharmaceutical industry, and other institutions recently to chart a course on the future of health governance and detail how to better protect the world from future pandemics and other crises.
The event organized by the Kangaroo Group and AHF Europe within the European Parliament was vital for identifying how the EU can be a leader in global health and health preparedness while including all relevant stakeholders, especially civil society. Emerging challenges—including disease outbreaks, the impact of the conflict in Ukraine, and workforce and medicines shortages—make collaboration at all levels even more essential.
“Whether working to deliver people-centered care across the region or changing the public health framework for emergencies, AHF in Europe has a history of working with government partners at all levels to ensure people can be protected and healthy,” added AHF Europe Bureau Chief Zoya Shabarova. “It is crucial that civil society has a voice in improving global public health, and we’re glad to join with our partners in helping to ensure solidarity, equity, and inclusivity in our health systems.”
“The European Union needs to lead and promote key principles of a new global health architecture, which include transparency, accountability, equity, and international cooperation and coordination—elements lacking from the pandemic response. During international public health emergencies, the EU cannot be seen as a group of rich countries hoarding vaccines for their internal needs first and sharing them one or two years later with the developing world. It happened with COVID-19 and is still happening now with MPOX vaccines,” said Dr. Jorge Saavedra, Executive Director of the AHF Global Public Health Institute. “These principles, detailed more extensively in the AHF-supported Lancet article ‘A Global Public Health Convention for the 21st Century,’ are vital first steps in any talks on preventing and responding to pandemics. Governments involving civil society is also a necessity, making these meetings so valuable.”
Panelists included Members of the European Parliament Michael Gahler and Juozas Olekas, Bartlomiej Kurcz, Acting Head of Unit at the European Health and Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority, and AHF’s Dr. Saavedra.
Read more about the event here.