Photo: CC2.0 Mary Harrsch via Flickr

SOMO, together with a broad coalition, have sent a letter to health attachés and to the Health Commissioner of the European Union urging them to reconsider crucial aspects of the recently launched Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) and its proposed Regulatory framework. HERA is a shared resource and mission control centre for Member States and EU institutions to better prepare the EU for cross-border health threats.

The organisations welcome the creation of the EU HERA but proposes some recommendations to ensure that HERA will work for the public interest, focus R&D on public health needs/priorities, remain accountable to EU citizens, and ensure the EU as a global leader leveraging equitable and affordable access to medical tools.

Signatories urge the European Council and the European Commission to address these issues by:

  • Ensuring that a democratic and participatory debate takes place during the creation of HERA
  • Incorporating clear governance rules, including for transparency and accountability safeguards in HERA
  • Involving stakeholders, including patients, civil society, healthcare professionals, and researchers
  • Protecting other public health priorities 
  • Ensuring accessibility and affordability of the outputs that HERA will support
  • Outlining a clear global vision for HERA
  • Supporting not-for profit EU infrastructure