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EU to build biomedical agency, convene health summit, says Von der Leyen

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gives her first State of the Union speech during a plenary session of European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium September 16, 2020. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union will build its own agency for biomedical research and convene a global health summit in Italy next year in a bid to be better prepared for future pandemics, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday.

Von der Leyen said she would propose reinforcing the European Medicines Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, as well as creating a European agency for biomedical advanced research and development.

“And because this was a global crisis we need to learn the global lessons. This is why, along with Prime Minister Conte and the Italian G20 Presidency, I will convene a global health summit next year in Italy,” she said told EU lawmakers in her annual ‘state of the union’ address.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop, editing by Robin Emmott

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