It follows a legislative proposal put forward by the European Commission in 2020 and agreed with the Council of the European Union.
The extended mandate will allow ECDC to adopt a stronger role in supporting EU Member States in the prevention and control of infectious disease threats, and to improve European preparedness and response ahead of future public health challenges in the following areas:
- Epidemiological surveillance via integrated systems enabling real-time surveillance
- Preparedness and response planning, reporting and monitoring
- Provision of non-binding recommendations and options for risk management
- Capacity to mobilise and deploy an EU Health Task Force to assist local response in Member States
- Build a network of EU reference laboratories and a network for substances of human origin
- Foster ECDC’s contribution to the EU’s international cooperation and commitment to global health security preparedness.
ECDC Director Andrea Ammon said: “The extended ECDC mandate is a significant step towards a safer, better prepared and more resilient Europe. Great trust and responsibility have been placed in ECDC today.” She added: “I look forward to strengthened cooperation and action with the European Commission and other EU bodies, national authorities and international partners to respond collectively to threats posed by infectious diseases, and to ensure that we continue improving the lives of people in Europe and globally.”
In parallel, the European Parliament also adopted a new framework on serious cross-border threats to health, replacing the previous Decision 1082/2013 and a series of measures that will allow the European Union to better anticipate and respond to these threats. This updated legislation aims at creating a more robust mandate for coordination by the Commission and EU agencies and includes:
- Reinforced cooperation among EU bodies and countries during public health emergencies
- Improved prevention, preparedness and response planning at EU and national levels
- Clearer rules for joint procurement of medicines and medical devices.
Following the endorsement in plenary, the documents will have to be formally endorsed by the Council of the EU, before being published in the Official Journal of the European Union shortly after.