European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Infobox European Union agency
name=European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

x = 131
y = 79
pillar=European Community
signdate=March 2004
establish=March, 2005
director=Zsuzsanna Jakab
website= []
Recently established as an independent agency of the European Union (EU), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is taking up growing responsibilities in strengthening Europe’s defences against infectious diseases. The Centre was established in 2005; and its headquarters are located in Stockholm, Sweden. ECDC’s start-up phase is over and 2008 represents the start of a new phase. ECDC has made significant progress in starting up its scientific activities and since 2007, ECDC has experts in place covering all 49 of the infectious diseases that are notifiable at EU level.


In the context of the EU, with economic integration and open frontiers, cooperation on public health issues is becoming more important. While the idea of creating a European CDC had been around for quite some time amongst public health experts in the EU, the outbreak of SARS in 2003 and its rapid spread across countries confirmed the urgency of the creation of an institution dedicated to EU-level cooperation on public health issues. ECDC was set up in record time for an EU agency: the European Commission presented draft legislation in July 2003, by the spring of 2004 ECDC’s Founding Regulation had been passed and by the spring of 2005 the Centre started operating. As it started its activities, another threat – H5N1 avian influenza arriving in the EU’s neighbourhood and the fear that it could adapt or mutate into a pandemic strain of human influenza– confirmed the relevance of its mission.

Organisational structure

The structure of the Centre is based on key functions and comprises four technical units (Scientific Advise, Surveillance, Preparedness and Response and Health Communication), supported by a Unit for Administrative Services. The responsibility for overall coordination and external relations lies with the Director’s Cabinet. The disease-specific activities lie horizontally in programmes across the four technical units: ECDC has so far established six cross-cutting programmes: Respiratory Tract Infections (InfluenzaTuberculosis); STI including HIV and Blood-Borne Viruses; Vaccine Preventable Diseases; Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare-Associated Infections; Food and Water-Borne Diseases and Zoonoses and Emerging and Vector-Borne Diseases.


ECDC publishes scientific and technical reports on various issues related to communicable diseases prevention and control, including comprehensive reports from key technical and scientific meetings.

In June 2007 ECDC launched its first Annual Epidemiological Report on Communicable Disease in Europe (AER). The report contains a considerable volume of epidemiological data on 49 communicable diseases (together with healthcare associated infections and antimicrobial resistant infections) collected from 25 EU Member States, Norway and Iceland for the year 2005. As the centralised systems for surveillance data collection (see above TESSy) were not yet in place, a unique or ‘once only’ data collection flow was followed in the production of this first report. Various data sources were combined to produce country and disease specific aggregated tables, which were then sent to specific contact points in the Member States for validation. It was only after these data were agreed that the report was drafted. A second data validation exercise was then carried out with all the contributing countries to ensure that the data interpretation in the report was as accurate as possible. Despite the evident problems with the comparability of data , a number of conclusions on the epidemiology of infectious diseases in Europe were still possible.


"Eurosurveillance", a leading European peer-reviewed journal devoted to the epidemiology, surveillance, prevention and control of infectious diseases, has been published by ECDC since March 2007. This partnership helps ensure results from ECDC and the EU funded surveillance networks are rapidly reported to the scientific community. Eurosurveillance is an open source (i.e. free) web-based journal that reports infectious disease issues from a European perspective. The weekly bulletin and monthly journal have recently merged to a unique scientific journal . New issues are available online for free every Thursday. Eurosurveillance was previously a project shared between an editorial team based at both the Institut de Veille Sanitaire (France), and the Health Protection Agency (United Kingdom) since 1995 and financed by the European Commission.

ECDC’s role 2007–2013

ECDC’s start-up phase is now over and 2008 opens a new phase. Since its creation in May 2005, ECDC has laid a solidfoundation in terms of organisation, staff and work and can now fully focus on scientific content delivery.

Member States

The ECDC’s network comprises the following member countries:
The 27 EU Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia,Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.
The EEA/EFTA Countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway


ECDC is set to have a staff of around 300 and an annual budget of over € 50 million by the end of the decade

External links

* [ European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control]
*" [ Eurosurveillance] "
* [ European programme for intervention epidemiology training - EPIET]
* [ EpiNorth]
* [ EpiSouth]
* [ EU Public Health]

ee also

* "Eurosurveillance"
* European programme for intervention epidemiology training (EPIET)
* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
* Epidemic
* European BioSafety Association (EBSA)
* Health Protection Agency (UK)
* Health Threat Unit
* Pandemic
* Public health


* [ EU at a glance]

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