DG SANCO, the Directorate General Health and Consumer Protection
of the European Commission, has issued a call for tenders concerning the development
and conduct of an exercise for all European Union (EU) countries to evaluate
and improve preparedness against deliberate release of chemical and biological
agents. It is planned to help achieve one of the objectives of Decision 1786/2002/EC,
which is to improve preparedness for health threats (1).
Many member states have already developed, or are in the process of developing,
national preparedness plans for bioterrorist attacks, and in the event of
a crisis, the European Commission will have the role of coordinating different
national responses. The aim of the proposed exercise is to evaluate existing
communications between EU member states, including interactions between
national plans, and to identify areas for improvement. It will provide vital
background knowledge that will allow the Commission to develop its role.
Although exercises on bioterrorism have already been conducted both at national
and EU levels, they have involved the public health authorities only indirectly.
Contract notice 2003/S 184-165731 (25.09.03) and terms of reference are
available at http://europa.eu.int/comm/health/ph_programme/howtoapply/call_165731_2003.htm.
The deadline for those wishing to participate is 7 November 2003.