Coronavirus: Commission holds first meeting of EU COVID-19 national scientific advice platform

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This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


Today, President Ursula von der Leyen welcomed Member States’ COVID-19 scientific advisors to the first meeting of the EU scientific advice platform on COVID-19. The platform will facilitate more co-ordinated scientific advice on the approach to Member State COVID-19 public health measures across the EU. It complements the President’s COVID-19 advisory panel and the work of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Today’s meeting was chaired by Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, with Professor Peter Piot, Special Advisor to the President on COVID-19, also in attendance.

The scientific advisors discussed the most effective settings for the use of rapid antigen tests and the most effective application of isolation and quarantine to control the spread of the virus. Their discussions on these and future items will inform the content and co-ordination of EU and Member State policy, and complements existing sources of scientific advice from EU agencies and other sources.

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: To beat coronavirus, we need the best scientists to join forces and find solutions against this virus, fast. This is why we are bringing together Europe’s top scientific advisors to debate and advise on the best way ahead on matters such as testing or isolation. This will help identify the most effective measures and will boost a coordinated approach across the European Union.”

Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said:” Since the outset of the COVID-19 crisis, the most significant challenge has been the coordination of national measures. Today’s launch of the scientific platform with top advisors from all our Member States will play a crucial role in ensuring that important decision on measures that affect the daily lives of our citizens, such as testing or quarantines, are based on the best available scientific knowledge and are well coordinated across the Union.”

President von der Leyen and the EU-27 leaders will discuss the outcomes of the first platform meeting during their videoconference, 19 November.

Background

During their videoconference on 29 October, EU heads of state or government and President von der Leyen decided to set up the platform, which will meet on a regular and as necessary basis. The platform complements the advisory panel set up by the Commission on 17 March 2020 to formulate science-based EU response guidelines and coordinate risk management measures.

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