future biotechnology solutions, eu citizens

Citizens propose future biotech solutions from the EU

© Robert Gerhardt

After the conference on the future of Europe, citizens made 300 recommendations, including the creation of future biotechnology solutions, such as vaccines, using EU resources

A consultation involving hundreds of EU citizens resulted in 49 proposals, containing over 300 recommendations for the future of the Union, including what to do for future biotechnology solutions in the face of impending epidemics.

The proposals cover every policy area, including healthcare and manufacturing

The general response seems to indicate that citizens want their EU services and standards to be streamlined, to provide a better quality of life for all. Although the bloc currently operates as a set of united states from a common partnership, if implemented, these recommendations would encourage more a pan-European system.

The proposals cover everything from climate to migration, with various ideas drawn from citizens of all Member States. While some of them are already in place, such as the recommendation for a unified European health data space which has the backing of the European Commission, other recommendations are bold and unprecedented.

Citizens want greater access to key medicines at a fairer price, especially in reproductive and sexual health

For example, citizens said hormonal contraception should be taxed as a regular medical product, especially when used as a treatment for fibromyalgia and endometriosis. Contained in the same recommendation, people think that women’s health products should also be exempt from any excess taxation, as they also function as medical products.

As communities falter over the leaked document suggesting the United States will outlaw Roe V. Wade’s protected abortion rights, countries around the world are looking for their own access systems to reproductive health care.

Citizens also want future biotech solutions to be independent of “third countries”

Then, under the proposal to strengthen the resilience of EU health systems, citizens also recommended that the bloc guarantee “strategic autonomy at EU level to avoid dependence on third countries for medicines”.

In particular, people want future “biotech solutions” to build on existing EU agencies, so they will be more likely to be available to Member States, with the further suggestion that “strategic accumulation” of medicines and treatments it should be part of the functioning of health care.

This sentiment is clearly linked to the EU’s experience with Pfizer, when at some point during the pandemic, the biotech company delivered a fraction of the expected COVID vaccines. This has led to a public rift between Pfizer CEO and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

To link these changes, citizens recommend that Article 4 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union be amended to make healthcare one of the shared competences between members and the EU itself.

This seems unlikely to happen, as a document suggests that one third of EU countries oppose the treaty change.

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