Marina Zanchi, a Bergamo-based head of the European Agency for Health and Digital

The interview

Since last April she has been the new director of HaDEA: “The new challenge to relaunch the European Union is at stake on these two issues”.

A stronger and more aware Europe, the one that is restarting after the Covid experience; a Europe that has proved capable of dealing with emergencies, but which, although not structurally equipped for a challenge such as that of the pandemic, which has caught the whole world unprepared, has been able to react and today is betting on recovery, starting from research and from innovation. She is convinced of it Marina Zanchi, the new Bergamo director of HaDEA, the European Commission’s Executive Agency for Health and Digital, established in February 2021 as the operational arm of the Commission for the implementation and financing of projects involving two strategic sectors for the growth of Europe and its Member States. An organism that organizations, institutions and businesses are learning to look at between now and 2027 it will issue tenders to finance projects with a total value of 20 billion euros.

It is very important – he says – to start again from Europe. The one against Covid was a test of strength that gave concrete results. Coordinating a common response at European level has allowed us to contain the spread of the virus and at the same time to support national health systems without, of course, any intrusion from the European institutions. We, for example, are also working on the idea of ​​reducing the economic impact, because we are well aware that the pandemic has also affected the economy and society. Therefore, support is not only needed for hospitals, but also for businesses and families. Already in 2020, after the first wave, the President of the Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen, had spoken of a European health union, sparking a lively debate. The idea was to have a healthier Europe that would allow Member States to work together to respond to emergencies that have no borders and instead need a collective response. This coordination and cooperation approach is among the Commission’s priorities: we want health systems to be effective, resilient and accessible to all. The priority is to protect the health of citizens“.

“HaDEA is the youngest agency of the Commission and was evaluated by the president Von Der Leyen to devote more attention to health and digital”

«To be more effective – concludes Zanchi -, for some years the Commission has restructured the working method, creating executive agencies precisely to implement political and strategic guidelines, and to finance projects. The HaDEA is the youngest and was wanted by the president Von Der Leyen to devote more attention to health and digital: It is essential to strengthen connectivity and digitalisation of health systems as well. By creating synergies between digital, health and food safety, the impact on citizens is certainly stronger ».

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