Long-term surveillance strategy 2014-2020

ECDC corporate

The main focus of this strategy will be for ECDC to work together with other key stakeholders to ensure that Member States are able to develop and maintain efficient and effective national surveillance systems, despite the financial pressures that can be expected over the coming years.

Executive summary

ECDC has launched the ‘Strategic Multi-annual Programme 2014–2020: Working together to reduce the burden’. This long-term surveillance strategy covers the same period, 2014–2020, and should be seen as a further elaboration of this core activity as detailed in the broader multi-annual programme. Public health surveillance has been referred to as ‘the epidemiological foundation for modern public health’ i . In attempting to formulate strategies that will determine the EU’s surveillance work over the next seven years, it is important to take into account the challenges that will need to be addressed during this period. A number of them will have a significant impact on surveillance work in the EU. For example, diseases targeted for eradication, like measles, will require more intensive surveillance; the expansion of social media and the routine use of sophisticated electronic devices like smart phones, together with an increasing public demand for surveillance data and information about the health threats and disease status of EU populations require a change to the way surveillance in the EU is carried out. A first discussion of the scope and thrust of this strategy was held at the Joint Strategy Meeting on 25–27 September 2012 with members of the Advisory Forum, Coordinating Competent Bodies, National Microbiology Focal Points and National Surveillance Focal Points. A first draft was discussed by the Advisory Forum in February 2013 and the Management Board in March 2013. In addition, the ‘ECDC strategy and roadmap for integration of molecular typing into European level surveillance and epidemic preparedness’ was discussed with the Advisory Forum and National Microbiology Focal Points in December 2012 and March 2013.

The final strategy is divided into six priorities:

  1. Consolidating surveillance, increasing its efficiency and enhancing the outputs and their impact
  2. Developing standards, improving data quality and sharing best practices in surveillance
  3. Promoting use of surveillance data
  4. Strengthening capacity in surveillance
  5. Controlling expansion 6 Monitoring the strategy.