On 27 June, the European Parliament adopted recommendations for combating infectious diseases. In a resolution, MEPs have called on the Commission and Member States to initiate cross-border measures to prevent these diseases.
European Parliament calls for EU-wide cooperation
MEPs are of the opinion that cross-border, interdisciplinary cooperation is essential for the prevention of tuberculosis, HIV and Hepatitis C. In the resolution they have adopted, they are calling for a EU-wide harmonised programme to diagnose and treat these diseases.
In terms of HIV/AIDS, there should be work done to combat the social stigma associated with HIV infection; access to innovative treatment should be facilitated; and HIV tests should be made free for all EU citizens.
Measures against Hepatitis C should include increased funding of research and improved help for drug users, for example, needle and syringe programmes.
According to the MEPs, the fight against tuberculosis is a major challenge because antimicrobial resistance is increasing. Therefore, the Parliament is calling for the funding of tuberculosis programmes and the funding of research and development of new vaccines.
What happens now?
The Parliament’s resolution has no legislative effect. Rather, it is a means of encouraging the Commission and Member States to take action. The Commission can submit a legislative proposal, which must be adopted by both the Council and Parliament in order to be legally valid.
Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis has already announced new Commission initiatives on the aforementioned infectious diseases for 2018.