Introducing HERA, the European Health Emergency preparedness and Response Authority, the next step towards completing the European Health Union

On the 16th of September 2021, the European Commission introduced HERA, the new European Health Emergency preparedness and Response Authority, which is seen to help complete the European Health Union in the future. 


Why HERA? 

The new Health Emergency preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) is set up to strengthen Europe’s ability to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to cross-border health emergencies, by ensuring the development, manufacturing, procurement, and equitable distribution of key medical countermeasures.

The core mission of HERA will be:

  • To strengthen health security coordination within the Union during preparedness and crisis response times, and bringing together the Member States, the industry and the relevant stakeholders in a common effort;
  • To address vulnerabilities and strategic dependencies within the Union related to the development, production, procurement, stockpiling and distribution of medical countermeasures;
  • To contribute to reinforcing the global health emergency preparedness and response architecture.


HERA will bring together expertise from different fields and look beyond the current pandemic. The result will be a structure which can swiftly harness the full range of EU powers, tools and programmes for the most effective use of limited resources; which can draw on new investment possibilities and new powers in times of crisis; and which will work in continuous coordination with Member States in full respect of their competences in the area of health to ensure that citizens benefit from a health response which is better prepared, more coordinated and more effective.


HERA operates in two phases, namely the preparedness phase and the crisis phase:

1) tasks of HERA during the preparedness phase:

  • Threat assessments and intelligence gathering
  • Promoting advanced R&D of medical countermeasures and related technologies
  • Addressing market challenges and failures and boosting the Union’s open strategic autonomy
  • Ensuring the provision of medical countermeasures
  • Strengthening knowledge and skills

2) tasks of HERA during the crisis phase: 

  • ensure the effective deployment of all the preparations taken in advance
  • additional financing could be ensured through the Emergency Support Instrument (ESI), demonstrated in the past to be both flexible and fast



To read the whole communication document of the European Commission on the future role of HERA please click here.







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