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Home Eurosurveillance Weekly Release  2003: Volume 7/ Issue 19 Article 5
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Eurosurveillance, Volume 7, Issue 19, 08 May 2003

Citation style for this article: European Commission and WHO discuss enhanced cooperation in the control of communicable disease. Euro Surveill. 2003;7(19):pii=2227. Available online:

European Commission and WHO discuss enhanced cooperation in the control of communicable disease

Editorial team (, Eurosurveillance editorial office.

The importance of communicable disease control and health security, and in particular the establishment of a European centre for disease prevention and control, were stressed this week in a high level meeting between European Commissioners and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Effective synergies between the European Union (EU) Early Warning System ( and the WHO Global Alert and Response Network ( are needed more than ever as shown by the recent outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) (1). The development of frameworks and mechanisms for enhanced cooperation were discussed, including possibilities of strengthening each organisation's involvement and participation in the policy making process of the other and developing more systematic dialogue on emerging public health issues.

Increased cooperation in the field of health information was considered a priority for the next phase of collaboration between the WHO and the Commission's Directorate General for Health and Consumer Protection (DG SANCO,, as well as monitoring of health system performance and the health aspects of the EU enlargement. In this regard, collaborative work between the Commission and the WHO European office ( is of particular importance.

The WHO strategy on diet, physical activity, and health was also discussed in the framework of risk reduction. The joint efforts of the Commission and WHO have been instrumental in negotiations to establish a strong and globally binding WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC,


  1. European Commission. European Commission and WHO - a healthy partnership continues and strengthens collaboration. Press release IP/03/647, 7 May 2003. (|0|RAPID&lg=EN).

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