Poklukar identifies agreement on HERA as key EU presidency achievement

Ljubljana – Health Minister Janez Poklukar took stock of the achievements of the Slovenian EU presidency in his brief on Monday, identifying the political agreement on the new European Health Emergency preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) as one of the biggest achievements.

Addressing reporters in Ljubljana, Poklukar said the achievements carried even bigger weight considering that Slovenia’s stint at the presidency of the Council of the EU in the past six months coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic.

To boost health security and the European Health Union, the European Commission put forward a package of legislative measures, including those aimed to reinforce the roles of the European Medicines Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Poklukar counts the conclusion of trialogue on those two among the Slovenian presidency’s major achievements.

However, as one of the biggest he singled out the political agreement on the European Health Emergency preparedness and Response Authority, noting that boosting the European Health Union was also the Slovenian presidency’s priority.

The minister also noted an update to the regulation on in vitro diagnostic medical devices, which he said was needed fast due to the risk of shortages of medical devices.

Among other achievements, Poklukar listed the search for innovative solutions for more resilient health systems, improving accessibility and availability of medicines, stepping up the combat against cancer and boosting the EU’s global role.

The Slovenian presidency organised several major events related to those efforts that served as a basis for Council conclusions in health. Poklukar also mentioned the closing conference of the Innovative Partnership for Action Against Cancer.

“I’m very proud to have had the opportunity to lead the Health Ministry’s team during the presidency. The achievements we’ve made on legislative acts and health contents themselves match and surpass many achievements so far, not only of our first presidency but also those of many other EU member states,” said Poklukar.

He believes the essential thing is that Slovenia has made a major contribution to improving healthcare in the EU, thus contributing to better health of all EU citizens and better management of the Covid-19 pandemic.