Crisis preparedness and response

Risk management

The Commission is working closely with EU governments to ensure that their response to serious cross-border health threats is coherent and well coordinated.

The Commission's Health Security Initiative  includes a requirement for them to notify all types of threats at EU level, not only communicable diseases.

Recent examples of coordination of health threats are the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and recent Polio and MeRs outbreaks.

Health Security Committee

This body is used by the Commission to coordinate health-security measures in the EU. It was set up in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks in the US.

Over the years the Committee has established a solid base for preparedness activities, by:

  • enabling EU governments to exchange information and evaluate health events
  • functioning as a discussion forum that advises health ministers
  • facilitating coordinated crisis response by EU governments. 

Health Security Committee – priority issues & examples of activities
Health Security Committee – Members

The committee is composed of representatives from each national administration, the Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Consumers and other relevant Commission departments and agencies (e.g. ECDC, EMA).

Response to serious cross-border health threats

The Decision 1082/2013/EU on serious cross-border threats to health  gives the Health Security Committee a solid legal footing in co-ordinating preparedness.

It allows the Health Security Committee to decide quickly on the coordination of national responses, communication messages to the public and to the healthcare professionals.