Health crises have often triggered the creation of EU agencies. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), for instance, was created in 2004 in the wake of a SARS outbreak and the spread of avian flu. The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. The European Commission has set out to build a European Health Union to strengthen the EU’s preparedness for cross-border health threats. The Health Union is also an exercise in ‘agencification’ as the Commission has proposed to revise the mandates of existing agencies and to create new agencies. This briefing presents the proposals and discusses the challenges of ‘agencification’ in public health.
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