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Three years ago, the world faced its greatest public health crisis in decades. Although since May 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) has lifted the status of “public health emergency of international concern” for COVID-19, the threat to global health persists. Now, the question is no longer “if,” but “when” the next pandemic will strike. The current challenges remain immense, and relegating the pandemic to the back burner of our concerns must not in any way diminish the mobilisation and vigilance in global health.

The upcoming European elections, scheduled from June 6th to 9th, 2024, are a key opportunity to strengthen our collective commitment to global health. These issues must be at the forefront of the political agenda for future European representatives.


I am proposing a new health preparedness and resilience mission for the whole of the European Union. And it should be backed up by Team Europe investment of EUR 50 billion by 2027. To make sure that no virus will ever turn a local epidemic into a global pandemic. There is no better return on investment than that.

Ursula von der Leyen, State of the Union 2021

The European Union (EU) has positioned itself as a key player in global health on the global political stage, as evidenced by its actions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the development of its new Global Health Strategy, and its considerable investments in major funds dedicated to fighting pandemics.

Medical research, drug production and supply systems, equitable access to healthcare, health cooperation, healthcare financing, nutrition, and the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and human health: these challenges all go beyond our national borders. They require a concerted approach at the EU level and should be a priority in the European Union’s external policy.

It is vital that the European Union maintains its political and financial momentum to support global efforts to prepare for future pandemics, strengthen healthcare systems, and combat health inequalities worldwide.

Global Health Advocates has developed a Manifesto addressed to candidates in the European elections, asking them to commit to action on key topics, including on: strengthening healthcare systems, accelerating preparedness for future pandemics, and greater transparency in the pharmaceutical market.


The upcoming European elections provide a crucial opportunity to strengthen the European Union’s role in the Global Health architecture. This mandate (2024-2029) must support the latest efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. It should prepare the EU to address future pandemics and other global challenges and ensure the implementation of its Global Health Strategy, adopted in 2020. More concretely:

  • The upcoming discussions on the European Union’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) are an opportunity to ensure adequate funding for global health and global challenges.
  • The ongoing revision of the European Union’s pharmaceutical legislation must pave the way for promoting fair and transparent policies focused on social needs, and directly benefiting individuals rather than markets.
  • Global health emerged as a main pillar of the partnership between the African Union and the European Union at the last EU-AU Summit. Over the next few years, the EU must support the health sovereignty of its partners in Africa.