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An international consensus has been reached that a European Union (EU) Technical Coordination Structure (TCS) for communicable diseases is needed to improve Europe’s future response to international communicable disease threats within and beyond its boundaries. After the American events of September 11 2001 and the deliberate releases of anthrax, the EU created a Health Security Committee, adopted a civil protection decision, and established for 18 months a team to develop responses for deliberate releases of biological and chemical agents. These two initiatives, the network’s approach and health security work, must converge into a single stream addressing health protection for the people of Europe. They could be combined into a European Centre for Communicable Diseases that is planned to become active by 2005.


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