EUGLOREH project
THE STATUS OF HEALTH IN THE EUROPEAN UNION:
TOWARDS A HEALTHIER EUROPE

FULL REPORT

PART II - HEALTH CONDITIONS

6. MAIN COMMUNICABLE DISEASES AND RELATED TIME-TRENDS: PREVALENCE, INCIDENCE AND MORTALITY

6.4. Control tools and policies

6.4.4. EU-wide coordination - the ECDC

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6.4.4. EU-wide coordination – the ECDC

 

The activities on surveillance, scientific advice and risk assessment, as well as work on laboratory issues and sampling, have now become the responsibility of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control inaugurated in Stockholm in May 2005.

 

In accordance with its founding Regulation EC 851/2004, the ECDC plays a key role in providing scientific and technical support to European and national decision-making on health security issues, the verification and assessment of outbreaks and for collecting, processing and transmitting information under the surveillance schemes and networks that it co-ordinates.

 

The ECDC’s mission is to identify, assess and communicate current and emerging threats to human health posed by infectious diseases. In order to achieve this mission, the ECDC works in partnership with national health protection bodies across Europe to strengthen and develop continent-wide disease surveillance and early warning systems. By working with experts throughout Europe, ECDC aims to pool Europe’s health knowledge, so as to develop authoritative scientific opinions about the risks posed by current and emerging infectious diseases.

 

 

The ECDC has a budget of € 16 million with 100 staff. The Centre’s budget is expected to grow to over € 50 million by 2010 and its staff to 300 over the coming years. It works as a matrix organisation to cover work on several groups of diseases.

 

The ECDC is the hub of the co-ordination of the Community Network for the Epidemiological Surveillance and Control. The ECDC assists the Commission in running the operation of the Early Warning and Response System in order to link the competent authorities of the Member States responsible for official notification of outbreaks and measures as well as consultations and co-ordination on measures taken or planned by the Member States. The new Centre also provides scientific co-operation within the extensive network of experts in the public health institutes of the EU, the US-CDC, Canada and other parts of the world.

 

In future, the scope of the ECDC may be extended beyond communicable diseases to tackle other major cross border health problems. An evaluation of future EU needs in that respect was conducted in 2008, taking into account the results achieved by the ECDC.