Independent report finds ECDC a key support to EU and Member States during infectious disease emergencies

Press release

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has a good capacity of quickly reacting to health threats and performing in crisis conditions. It produces products of good professional quality in all areas, has scientific credibility and is generally a source of EU level added value.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has a good capacity of quickly reacting to health threats and performing in crisis conditions. It produces products of good professional quality in all areas, has scientific credibility and is generally a source of EU level added value. In particular, the Commission and Member States have come to rely on the rapid risk assessments that ECDC produces within 24 to 48 hours of spotting a potential cross-border outbreak. These are among the key strengths of ECDC highlighted in an independent external evaluation of the Centre published today.
The report, by an international consortium of evaluators led by the Bologna based consultancy Economisti Associati, also highlighted a number of operational challenges and areas for further improvement. These include sharpening ECDC’s strategic focus, tailoring its products more to the needs of individual Member States and making it easier to understand “who is responsible for what” within ECDC. Dr Françoise Weber, who was this month re-elected as the Chair of ECDC’s Management Board said: “I congratulate the Centre and its Director on the positive findings of this external evaluation. Over the past decade ECDC has helped the EU and Member States strengthen their defences against epidemics and outbreaks. The Centre has established itself as the hub of a strong network linking the key experts and public health laboratories across Europe. This has proved its value time and again. It is currently a major asset for Europe in responding to the Ebola threat.
 
At its 18-19 November 2014 meeting in Stockholm ECDC’s Management Board decided to formally accept the final report from the external evaluation and appointed a Drafting Group to develop recommendations for action in response to it. The Group is chaired by the Board member from Belgium, Dr Daniel Reynders and is due to present recommendations for endorsement by the Board in March 2015.