With the signing of the European Declaration on linking genomic databases across borders, Austria is now the 16th EU country to join the European Commission’s effort to better prevent and understanding diseases and allowing for better, more personalised treatments for rare diseases and cancer.
The Declaration is an agreement of cooperation between members of the European Union who pledge to provide secure and authorised cross-border access to national and regional banks of genetic and other health-related data, all of which are in accordance with the EU’s data protection rules.
Enhanced cooperation between the EU Member States will help to overcome the lack of interoperability and fragmentation of initiatives across the bloc, while at the same time guarantee certain standards for personal data protection.
The Commission expects this particular e-Health initiative will keep the EU at the forefront of personalised medicine on the global stage by fostering scientific output and industrial competitiveness.
The Declaration was originally launched in April 2018 and has since been signed by Greece, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.