Pandemics Prevention and Preparedness

Following its call for an EU Heads of State and Government-level Council or Committee through Open Letters to ENVI and the European Commission’s DG SANTE in October 2020, the PA International Foundation has called on the Portuguese EU Presidency to consider its proposal regarding HERA/European Health Security Council:

Letter to the Portuguese EU Presidency, 24 March 2021
Memo ‘HERA (EU BARDA) – Mortal Challenges and How to Address These – A Proposal to Place HERA under Council and with European Parliament Oversight’, 22 March 2021
Memo ‘HERA – A Proposal on Structure and Organisation including the Council and the European Parliament’, 22 March 2021

Three Securities

27 years of experience on several continents has shaped the PA approach towards advice and support to governments, industries, international organizations and NGOs into a holistically integrated format. In 2004 this resulted in the establishment of the not-for-profit PA International Foundation which has a triple security focus. Today’s Covid-19 pandemic underlines the requirement to create and implement holistically integrated policy options and solutions. Key elements appear to be preparedness, pre-emption and forward defence. Western liberal capitalism appears to have a systemic flaw. Only in Western society’s military defence arrangements, these three elements are realised. A third world war was thus prevented. It is time to introduce these elements into the European Union’s fledgling Health Security Council.

Water Security

Virtually any infrastructure, port, transport, packaging, food, feed, pharma, chemical, industry requires water security (availability of potable and industrial water).

Water may seem abundant, but the largest droplet represents all water available on Earth. The mid-sized droplet represents all liquid fresh water, the smallest shows fresh water in lakes and rivers.

Food Security

Every society requires food security: access for all to affordable nutritious food, even in a future where overpopulation and increasing water shortages will lead to both water and food crises. Every society requires food safety: including a ’yes’ to advanced biotechnology combined with a ‘no’ to scientifically established unsafe and unsustainable food/feed products and ingredients/additives.

Job Security

All industrial and economic policies and projects directly refer to correct employment. Both employment and innovation are particularly produced by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. This fact is underrepresented in current European policies. Over-protection of larger industries appears to reduce both competitiveness and innovation. Regulations must be adapted. 

Most, if not all, PA projects appear to include these three securities. PA does not wait until any of these impacts projects or policies; the PA International Foundation comes prepared. Often in conjunction with tasks entrusted to PA companies, the PA International Foundation under its own responsibility and with its own experience and networks initiates and organizes top-level conferences, creates multi-stakeholder platforms and establishes academic chairs. Among these are the ‘Sultan Qaboos Academic Chair for Quantitative Water Management’ at Utrecht University; global or regional multi-stakeholder platforms such as the global website StopAMR.eu combating Antimicrobial Resistance; car emissions, child malnutrition (OTIFA) and improved, more market-oriented, education and training in impoverished areas (CEMARA project). 

Already in 2006, then PA Chairman Baron Paul De Keersmaeker challenged the then European Commission on the dramatic risks of allowing Western pharmaceutical industries to import the cheapest Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) from Asian sources. This would simultaneously pollute Asian environments and ‘expel’ European technology and production from the European Union (letter to the European Commission dd. 12 July 2006). Then European Commission Vice President Günter Verheugen and then European Commissioner for Health Markos Kyprianou officially responded in no uncertain way: pharmaceutical industries will protect the health interests of European citizens (official letter dd. 10 January 2007). Today’s Covid-19 developments demonstrate that industries are for profit and Governments are for the protection of society. This is why European armed forces are not privatized. This is why key health requirements cannot be left to industries. Today all of us combat Covid-19. Tomorrow we must be ready to combat multiple- or totally resistant bacteria (European Court of Auditors report on AMR). Once again, it is considered to leave our protection to industry. The United Nations Inter-Agency Coordination Group on AMR establishes current flaws (Report to the UN Secretary General). Top banker, industrialist and AMR expert Lord Jim O’Neill provides the answer (article from The Guardian). On 4 June 2020, PA organized a next EU-wide webinar with The Parliament Magazine, co-hosted by key Members of the European Parliament and addressed by top experts. Follow this on our Twitter account.