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PD 02 – Europe: Follower or Leader in Health Research and Innovation?

Europe is currently losing the innovation battle with the other global leaders – the US and China. Despite outstanding basic research and the progress made in health research and important EU initiatives, Europe must consider challenges such as: scattered health research efforts among EU Member States, limited competencies of the EU in the field of health and restricted public research investments.

Under the leadership of Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides, in November 2020, the European Commission took first steps in the scope of a ‘European Health Union’ legislative package. It is a new vision accompanied by numerous policy and legislative measures such as: Horizon Europe, the EU4health programme, EU health Data Space, the Pharmaceutical Strategy, the Mission on Cancer, Industrial Strategy, HERA, increased responsibilities for EMA and ECDC. The EU is not exercising its leadership in health, therefore there is a lack of coordination and of a long-term vision for health. In this session we will discuss how through the new European initiatives, the EU can play a pivotal role to support Member States, stakeholders and researchers to jointly achieve overarching health objectives. Hence, the EU should be able to support Member States in reaching the objectives of numerous EU policies and initiatives and to ensure that all policies at EU and Member States level are intertwined and ultimately help Europe to be a leader in health research and innovation.


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