ECDC strategic multi-annual programme 2007–2013

Corporate publication
Publication series: Multi-annual programme

Public health activities, disease-specific programmes and multilateral partnerships.

Executive summary

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) was established in 2005 as a European Union (EU) agency to strengthen Europe’s defences against infectious disease. The Centre’s main task is to serve as a source of independent scientific advice, assistance and expertise for the European Commission, the 27 EU Member States and the three other countries of the European Economic Area.

In the first two years of ECDC’s existence while or - ganisational structures were still being set up, ECDC and its staff were already involved in a number of events that threatened the health of EU citizens. For example, in early 2006 the discovery of human cases of H5N1 in Turkey called for ECDC action. Staff mem - bers from ECDC were rapidly on site, assisting the Turkish Government as part of a mission lead by the World Health Organization (WHO). At the same time several activities were undertaken to contribute to strengthening the Members States’ capacity to deal with an influenza pandemic. ECDC continues to play an important role in fighting such threats.

After a successful start-up phase ECDC became fully operational in 2007. We were then in a good position to tackle the challenges presented by our mission. Hence, in 2007 a seven-year strategy for the years 2007–2013 was prepared with valuable input from ECDC’s governing bodies and the resulting Strate - gic Multi-annual Programme for 2007–2013 was ap - proved in June 2007 by ECDC’s Management Board. This comprehensive programme outlines our vision and goals for the long and medium term and will guide ECDC’s work in the coming years. The priori - ties laid out in the Strategic Multi-annual Programme reflect the task of the agency as stated in ECDC’s Founding Regulation and the programme is the stra - tegic framework for all our future activities. These long-term goals direct our Annual Programmes of Work that have a short term and a medium 2–3 year planning horizon.

At the core of the long-term strategy are seven targets to be reached by 2013. They fall into three broad categories: communicable diseases and related conditions; strengthening key public health functions to prevent and control communicable diseases; and cooperation with Member States, EU institutions and other relevant stakeholders. Sets of strategies are provided that describe the actions to be taken to reach each target.

In the medium term, from 2007–2009, it is ECDC’s aim to further strengthen its own infrastructure and modes of operation and to foster its public health functions, as they are key to the effective fight against communicable diseases throughout the European Union. Furthermore, we will use this period to reinforce the collaboration with the European Commission, the Member States and the World Health Organization (WHO). Another focus will be on building basic tools for the scientific work, creating scientific networks and working on methodologies for the disease-specific work which is organised into six programmes. These disease-specific programmes will play an increasingly prominent role after 2010.

In striving to reach the set targets, ECDC will work closely with its partners in the European Commission, in Member States and with important stakeholders in the EU as well as with selected key institutions operating outside of Europe. Furthermore ECDC will continuously monitor the progress of its work and adapt the programmes if needed. In addition, an external medium-term evaluation in 2009 will give a valuable insight into the progress made.

As the director of a growing institution with dedicated staff and the support from our partners I am confident that we can reach the long-term goals set out in this multi-annual programme and that ECDC will contribute significantly to protecting European citizens against communicable diseases in the coming years.