Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
AFAIK the Commission doesn't really do independent tribunals of inquiry like national governments do. But one should be instigated now to investigate what went wrong and make proposals for ensuring we are better prepared for future public health emergencies.

My guess is such a tribunal would make recommendations along the following lines:

  1. Establish permanent European medicines and medical equipment procurement agency (to maximise EU bulk buying procurement leverage and develop proactive policies to improve preparedness)

  2. Establish permanent public health research commissioning and funding agency. (Research should be prioritised by public benefit rather than private profit)

  3. Ensure the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has a fast-tract procedure for the emergency approval of medicines and coordinates with 2. above to ensure their is a proactive research program in place to anticipate future crises.

  4. Develop industrial policy/strategy to ensure that key/core manufacturing capabilities are developed in line with future needs within the EU. (To prevent another PPE scramble, but also to reduce dependency on vulnerable supply chains. This could be similar to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and become a Common Industrial Policy (CIP), and apply more broadly to strategic industries in general, not just Pharma and Medtech.

It is important that any such proposals should be arrived at independently of the Commission, as otherwise the Commission will be accused of more scope creep and empire building. Perhaps the Tribunal of Enquiry should report to the Council and Parliament, rather than the Commission. Eurosceptics always complain that the Commission's answer to any shortcomings is always "more Europe", but in this case it may be that that is precisely what is needed.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 11th, 2021 at 01:35:54 PM EST
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