After Economic Europe, giving a go to Political Europe… European Health Task Force! To fight against coronavirus, Emmanuel Macron has said in a joint press conference with German chancellor Angela Markel on Monday May 18 that “EU Health Task Force must become our priority”.
And what would this “EU Health Taks Force” consist it? The French President gave a few leads: “Our will is to fit Europe with very concrete skills in terms of health” he explains. He goes on: “Common stocks of facemasks and tests, common and coordinated buying power for cures and vaccines, shared epidemic prevention plans, common methods to report cases”.
Europe Health Task Force, an idea as old as the creation of Europe
An idea that is yet not new. It even goes back to the time of the European creation. an idea Robert Schuman already had in 1950, explaining, in a sentence that will make history that “Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity.” A will to create a health task force that is part of the founding principles of this construction but that has never been made so far.
We once again hear about and “Eu Health Taks Force” in 1952 when the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and a joint health policy at the level of several states (proposed to countries members of the Organization for European Economic Co-operation), the so-called “white pool”.
Old idea, new realization
At the origin, this “EU Health task force” wanted to set up – as reported by our peer at RTBF – “a joint medication and medical material market”, as well as “health insurance evened to the European level” and the joint training of medical staff. A joint policy that would also apply to medical research since one of the ambitions of the European community was to created joint research in laboratories and devoted hospitals.
But it did not work… Why such a fail? “A strong opposition from pharmaceuticals companies, then national, that were afraid of losing their market” our peers at the RTBF explain. And the medical staff also feared unfair competition too. It remains to be seen if this policy could take place today.