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Health & Consumer Voice - January/February - 2012 Edition

Dalli proposes better protection from cross-border health threats
A new European Commission proposal to better protect citizens from a wide range of cross-border health threats was adopted in December, drawing on the lessons learned from the H1N1 pandemic in 2009 and the E.coli outbreak in 2011.

The main measures include an extension of the co-ordination mechanism for communicable diseases, a new legal framework allowing national governments to purchase vaccines jointly and better crisis communication. The role of the EU’s Health Security Committee would also be reinforced.

Speaking after the adoption of the proposal, EU Commissioner John Dalli underlined the importance of having a strong legal framework in place to tackle cross-border health threats. «In today’s globalised society, illnesses can spread around Europe – and the globe – within hours. This is why the EU must be prepared to act together in a fully co-ordinated manner to stop disease from spreading.»

The proposal is likely to come into effect in late 2012.