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Public Health (04-03-2011)

Launch of Consultation on Health Security in the EU

Today, the Commission launches a consultation to gather stakeholders' views on possible actions that can protect EU citizens more effectively against serious cross-border health threats. The overarching question is: How can the response to infectious diseases and other serious cross-border health threats, such as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and environmental events, be strengthened at EU level? The consultation includes questions on preparedness planning, risk assessment, management of health threats and on how to better communicate with citizens and professional groups.

The consultation paper and online questionnaire can be viewed at:
http://ec.europa.eu/health/preparedness_response/consultations/preparedness_cons_02_en.htm.

All interested parties are invited to submit their comments by 29 April 2011.

The Commission's initiative on health security in the EU, comes at the request of the European Council, following its conclusions of 13 September 2010, on lessons learned from the A/H1N1 Pandemic and Health Security in the EU. The principles of this initiative are laid down in the Commission's Staff working paper of 18 November 2010, and can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/health/preparedness_response/docs/commission_staff_lessonsh1n1_en.pdf

Even though legislation on EU action on the prevention and control of infectious diseases exists since 1998, this legislation does not cover cross-border health threats other than infectious diseases. The aim of this initiative, therefore, is to consider the possibility and need to ensure that all types of public health threats are addressed in a similar way to infectious diseases.

Further information on Health Security in the EU can be found here:
http://ec.europa.eu/health/preparedness_response/policy/index_en.htm