Recent years and in particular the Ebola outbreak have shown the importance of being able to respond and mobilise medical personnel rapidly. In order to increase the EU’s capacity to respond adequately to major health emergencies inside and outside the EU, the European Union has established the European Medical Corps (EMC). The EMC will include emergency medical teams, public health teams, mobile biosafety laboratories, medical evacuation capacities, public health and medical assessment and coordination experts, as well as technical assessment and support teams and logistics support for medical operations. The success of the EMC will require a more in-depth cross-sectoral cooperation between civil protection, health, humanitarian aid, development, and research actors at EU, national and regional level.
The European Medical Corps, part of the European Emergency Response Capacity under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, was officially unveiled at a high-level event at the European Commission on 15th February 2016. Participation to the event was by invitation only, but included the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides, as well as representatives from EU Member State emergency management authorities, the World Health Organisation, the European Commission, and the European Parliament.
Press release from the European Commission is available here.