Single Programming Document 2022-2024
The prime drivers of the 2022 work programme are the continued need to support the European Commission and the Member States in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the five pillars of the strategy 2021−2027 and its roadmap that rolls out annual implementation.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which began in 2020, constitutes the biggest challenge for ECDC since the Centre was established. SARS-CoV-2 will continue to affect Europe in the years to come, not only as a severe global public health event, but also due to the profound and lasting consequences it will have on our economies and within societies worldwide.
So many lives have been lost. While assuring our support to their families and loved ones and paying tribute to the tremendous dedication of health professionals across Europe, it is the responsibility of our countries, and all public organisations at national, EU level and globally, to cooperate in order to minimise the further spread and effects of the pandemic. This cooperation, which goes well beyond public health, has intensified across many other sectors since 2020.
More than ever, the virus reminds us how much public health, as well as being a cost, is also a long-term investment, aiming not only to save and improve people’s lives, but also to protect them, enabling the whole of society to operate.
As we are still in the pandemic, many uncertainties remain for the preparation of the ECDC 2022 work programme, such as the difficulty of predicting the evolution of the virus; the limited effectiveness of treatments; uncertainties regarding the availability and effectiveness of vaccines in the future, and challenges to overcome in the coordination of measures across the continent.
ECDC, EU institutions, and Member States are only just receiving the initial results of lessons-learnt exercises and in/after action reviews, although these will continue to appear and be acted upon in order to increase the efficiency of our efforts. Discussions are well underway between the Council and the European Parliament on a revised Regulation for the Centre. The final outcome will have an impact on our future annual work programmes and resource allocation, which adds to the difficulty of planning with accuracy at this stage.
Nevertheless, the ECDC strategy 2021−2027 and its strategic roadmap, approved by the Management Board in 2020, provide clear perspectives on the Centre’s long-term objectives, and these remain valid, determining the basis for the Single Programming Document (SPD) 2022.
The COVID-19 pandemic will also affect Europe in 2022, and ECDC will continue to devote a significant part of its resources and effort to this, in support of the Member States and the European Commission. In 2022, once the legal text has been approved, ECDC will initiate work to implement the strengthened mandate, which might also demand changes in planned activities and resources. Drawing on the lessons learnt from the pandemic, ECDC will assist countries in improving their preparedness for future threats, support the further strengthening and digitalisation of EU surveillance systems. The Centre will also support the deployment of new vaccines by studying their effectiveness, impact and safety.
In addition to COVID-19-related activities, based on the strategy 2021−2027, ECDC will continue to carry out its regular surveillance, training and scientific support activities for other communicable diseases and health priorities, including antimicrobial resistance, which still pose a threat to individuals across Europe.