Cross-border Health Threats and Pandemic Preparedness: Opportunities and challenges for the EU contribution to global health

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Date(s) - 23/03/2022
10:00 CET - 11:30 CET


The COVID-19 pandemic has renewed the urgency of addressing key elements of the access to medicines (and health technologies) continuum: from public support to research and development to health-sensitive intellectual property management or the role of public institutions and resources in supporting alternative innovation mechanisms.

Considering this, the European Union’s commitments towards global health, the coherence of discussions taking place in Brussels, as well as the various processes and proposals being discussed and examined in Geneva, namely at the World Health Organization and World Trade Organization, demand our attention.

In this roundtable meeting, we have gathered leading European civil society organisations inform the discussions and assist in the deliberations of these critical dossiers, providing lawmakers and other stakeholders with evidence-based insight and expertise.


  • TRIPS waiver and pandemic preparedness. How is the EU hindering/contributing to a global response?
  • C-TAP and licensing of health technologies. The role of public research institutions in the response to the pandemic.
  • European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) and Global Health: needs, means and constraints.
  • Global responses to Covid-19. Lessons learnt from Team Europe and other initiatives.
Why is this important now?

Debates around the proposal by South Africa and India for a temporary waiver on the WTO agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) or deliberations at the WHO on how to better respond to the next pandemic show how governments and other stakeholders seek to find answers to the dilemmas of a critical moment for global health. The EU, and its Member States, plays a major role in most of these processes, as well as in others equally significant ones, like the WHO-supported tech transfer hub in South Africa or the COVID-19 Technologies Access Pool (C-TAP).

At the same time, the EU is undertaking its own consequential design, discussion, and implementation processes with profound implications not only development, manufacturing and delivery of health technologies, but also for the response to health threats, in the EU and beyond. Several initiatives, such as the proposed European Pharmaceutical Strategy or the adopted European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), will shape the debate around access to medicines for the years to come with an impact that goes, again, beyond EU boundaries.

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