Conference on the Future of Europe: Health

Written by Lena Hirschenberger

The Conference on the Future of Europe’s aim is to debate how the EU should develop in the future and to give European citizens a voice in the process, announced Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in her inaugural address.

People’s ideas will be collected on the Digital Platform, in European Citizens’ Panels and de-centralised conference events all over Europe. The Conference Plenary – comprised of representatives of the Citizens’ Panels, the Parliament, the Council, the Commission, national parliaments, the Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee, social partners and the European Youth Forum – will then discuss the ideas put forward. Launched in April 2021, the conference is expected to reach conclusions and provide guidance for the European institutions to follow up, by spring 2022.

The conference topics are divided into nine areas, with one additional ‘open’ area, reserved for out-of-the-box ideas. The topics are: ‘Climate change and the environment‘, ‘Health‘, ‘A stronger economy, social justice and jobs‘, ‘European Union in the world‘, ‘Values and rights, rule of law, security‘, ‘Digital transformation‘, ‘European democracy‘, ‘Migration‘, ‘Education, culture, youth and sport‘, and ‘Other ideas‘.

Discussion on ‘Health’ will revolve around how we can secure vaccines and ensure availability of affordable medicines, treatments and medical equipment to fight coronavirus, but also around how countries can coordinate health services better in general: How can we protect ourselves in the event of a crisis? How can we improve European preventive care, treatment and aftercare for major diseases? How can we promote healthy lifestyles in general?

To support the proceedings of the conference, our EPRS policy analysts have prepared research material, available here in reverse chronological order. The following list will continually be updated as the conference unfolds:

EU Covid-19 certificate: A tool to help restore the free movement of people across the European Union
Briefing by David Armand, Jacques Gera de Groot and Costica Dumbrava, May 2021, 12 pages.

What is the European Union doing to fight cancer?
Blogpost by EPRS AskEP unit, May 2021.

The rise of digital health technologies during the pandemic
Briefing by Maria Negreiro Achiaga, April 2021, 10 pages.

Alcohol labelling
Briefing by Tarja Laaninen, April 2021, 12 pages.

Building up resilience to cross-border health threats: Moving towards a European health union
Briefing by Nicole Scholz, April 2021, 10 pages.

EU4Health programme
Briefing by Nicole Scholz, April 2021, 10 pages.

Europe’s Beating Cancer plan: Quick overview and initial reactions
Briefing by Nicole Scholz, March 2021, 12 pages.

Covid-19 vaccination campaigns: The public dimension
Briefing by Nicole Scholz, January 2021, 12 pages.

Coronavirus testing: Contributing to efforts to stem the second wave
Briefing by Nicole Scholz, December 2020, 8 pages.

Next generation or lost generation? Children, young people and the pandemic
Briefing by Nora Milotay, December 2020, 12 pages.

Lifting coronavirus restrictions: The role of therapeutics, testing, and contact-tracing apps ‘In-Depth’ Analysis by Costica Dumbrava, July 2020, 36 pages.
Available in German, English and French

Nutrition labelling schemes used in Member States
Briefing by Tarja Laaninen, July 2020, 12 pages.

Cross-border regional healthcare cooperation to combat the coronavirus pandemic
‘At a glance’ note by Vasileios Margaras, June 2020, 2 pages.

Addressing shortages of medicines
Briefing by Nicole Scholz, April 2020, 12 pages.

Organ donation and transplantation: Facts, figures and European Union action
Briefing by Nicole Scholz, April 2020, 12 pages.

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