According to a May 17 press release, the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra met in Brussels to launch the EU-U.S. Health Task Force. The Task Force aims to expand the EU-U.S. partnership, focusing on cancer initiatives, global health threats, and strengthening global health architecture. Technical working groups that will focus on these three key areas are currently being established. Additionally, the meeting included a discussion on Ukraine—the EU and U.S. confirmed their unity regarding Russian aggression.
The press release says that “The EU and the U.S. share a prioritized focus on improving cancer prevention, detection and care for everyone facing cancer. That is why the Task Force has established two expert-level working groups focused on childhood/young adult cancer and lung cancer in the context of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and the U.S. Cancer Moonshot. This collaboration aims to facilitate peer-learning, exchange best practices, and advise on the development of possible joint initiatives to improve cancer outcomes across the globe. The goal is to promote the establishment of a new structured dialogue on cancer, addressing both cancer policies and research collaborations. This will be done by finding common ground between the U.S. Cancer Moonshot Initiative and Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, the EU Cancer Mission, and U.S. National Cancer Plan.”
Further, “Today’s discussions also focused on current and emerging health threats such as avian influenza, Marburg disease, and anti-microbial resistance. Both sides also underlined the importance to improve the understanding of post COVID-19 conditions and their impact on health, societies and economies.”
Collaboration between the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) and HHS’s Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) secure supply chains and vaccination programs were also discussed in the meeting, according to the release. HERA and HHS both agreed an improved response to future pandemics is needed globally.
Both the EU and the U.S. also highlighted that strong women’s rights are core values of democracies and are committed to endorsing sexual and reproductive health rights.
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra was quoted in the release saying that “We are committed to making sure that all people can access the healthcare they need, and we know that our health at home is connected to the health of people everywhere. This Task Force will allow us to build on our existing work together across a range of issues to address new challenges around cancer, global health threats and strengthening the global health infrastructure.”