Covid-19 pandemic; lessons learned, challenges and opportunities for health policy and regulatory changes in the European Union

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the health policy and regulatory landscape in the European Union. The pandemic has led to better cooperation and coordination in the European Union, including joint procurement of vaccines and implementation stricter health and safety regulations to protect public health. In November 2020, the European Commission has proposed to build a strong European Health Union. As the first building block the EC has adopted a regulatory framework on serious cross-border treats to health, new mandate for EMA and ECDC, and creation of the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA). The pandemic has highlighted the need for global cooperation and regulatory flexibility to respond to crises effectively. This led to the adoption of more agile regulatory frameworks that allow for faster and adaptive decision-making processes. This approach can be found in the Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe and proposed reform of the EU pharmaceutical regulation.
Travel restrictions have affected the free movement of people within the EU and have led to the implementation of new regulations related to travel and border management, including the EU Digital Covid Certificate. During pandemic digital transformation in health was accelerated and access to health data has been better understood. It also helped to develop a new cooperation platform and the European Health Data Space Regulation.
The pandemic has led to the implementation of various economic support measures by the EU to mitigate the impact of the crisis and prepare for future one.