ECDC Director Marc Sprenger and WHO/Europe Regional Director Zsuzsanna Jakab have signed an Administrative Agreement between ECDC and WHO/Europe during the 8th Senior Officials Meeting of the European Commission (EC) and World Health Organisation (WHO), held in Brussels on 24-25 March 2011.
ECDC and WHO/Europe have been working together since 2005 under a framework of Memorandum of Understanding. The framework has now been replaced with a new agreement to better reflect the changed public health landscape in Europe.
The Senior Officials Meeting highlighted the Partnership Declaration between WHO and EC, launched at the 60th WHO Regional Committee in Moscow in September 2010, covers the following six areas: health security, health innovation, health systems, health information, health inequalities and country collaboration. During the meeting the technical level implementation roadmaps for strategic collaboration together with set priorities for the coming year were agreed by high level representatives from both organisations.
The priorities identified in ‘Health security’ are:
- strengthening the implementation of International Health Regulations,
- improving preparedness and response for pandemics,
- decreasing antimicrobial resistance,
- improving public understanding, acceptance, and use of vaccines,
- strengthening global and regional alert and response mechanisms, including better coordinated surveillance.
The new Agreement between ECDC and WHO/Europe facilitates the implementation of this Partnership Declaration in the area of ‘Health security’. The ECDC WHO/Europe collaboration will be supervised by a small group of colleagues from ECDC and WHO/Europe (Joint Coordination Group).