News / Press Releases - May 9, 2023

WHO announces end of the COVID-19 public health emergency

On Friday, 5 May, the WHO Director General declared an end to the Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) for the disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

COVID-19 was declared a PHEIC on 30 January 2020. For more than three years, the pandemic wreaked havoc across the world, causing millions of deaths worldwide, both from the virus itself and from the huge disruptions it caused to routine patient care.

“It is with great hope that I declare Covid-19 over as a global health emergency,” said the W.H.O. director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

COVID-19 remains a global health threat, and with the risk of the emergence of new variants, we cannot let our guard down. EUCOPE remains fully committed to supporting the EU response to the COVID-19 threat and ensuring that new or adapted vaccines and therapeutics can be made available as needed.

As the pandemic unfolded and public health responses quickly adapted to the emerging threat, it was clear that our societies weren’t ready for a crisis of this scale. As we look ahead, and prepare for new and emerging health challenges, we should not forget the sheer scale of this health emergency. We are working to make sure that the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic are used to prepare better for any future public health emergency that we might face.

For better health crisis preparedness

EUCOPE has been selected to join the Joint Industrial Cooperation Forum (JICF), a sub-group of the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Advisory (HERA) Forum. The first meeting of the JICF took place in Summer 2022 where EUCOPE, along with other industrial organizations and national representatives, discussed with the European Commission how HERA can be better prepared to react to future health crises. The JICF will be meeting at least four times a year.  EUCOPE, through the expert knowledge of its members, is looking forward to future discussions on how to ensure Europe’s resilience in times of crisis.

The Joint Industrial Cooperation Forum (JICF) is being set up as a subgroup of HERA’s Advisory Forum to support collaboration with health-related industrial ecosystems in the area of preparedness and response to health crises. Along with the Civil Society Forum, it will provide HERA’s Advisory Forum with observations and opinions from a diverse range of interested parties.

To get more involved with our work with HERA, please contact Leander Vranken (