ECDC’s mission and main activities
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) was established in 2005. It is an EU agency aimed at strengthening Europe's defences against infectious diseases.
According to Article 3 of the Founding Regulation, ECDC's mission is to identify, assess and communicate current and emerging threats to human health posed by infectious diseases.
In order to achieve this mission, ECDC works in partnership with national health protection bodies across Europe to strengthen and develop continent-wide disease surveillance and early warning systems. By working with experts throughout Europe, ECDC pools Europe's health knowledge to develop authoritative scientific opinions about the risks posed by current and emerging infectious diseases.
Within the field of its mission, the Centre shall:
- search for, collect, collate, evaluate and disseminate relevant scientific and technical data;
- provide scientific opinions and scientific and technical assistance including training;
- provide timely information to the Commission, the Member States, Community agencies and international organisations active within the field of public health;
- coordinate the European networking of bodies operating in the fields within the Centre's mission, including networks that emerge from public health activities supported by the Commission and operating the dedicated surveillance networks;
- exchange information, expertise and best practices, and facilitate the development and implementation of joint actions.
Targeted country support
ECDC’s country support foresees "well-coordinated capacities across Europe to effectively prevent, detect, assess and control communicable diseases that threaten the health of the European population."
Epidemic intelligence and outbreak response
Monitoring and assessing threats to public health in Europe from infectious diseases are core tasks for ECDC, as is providing technical support to the EU-level response to such threats.
The Centre communicates on its own initiative in the fields within its mission, after having given prior information to the Member States and to the Commission.
Microbiology is the study of micro-organisms, including those that are causing infectious diseases.
ECDC supports the Member States and the European Commission in monitoring, identifying and responding to serious cross-border health threats.