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On 30 March the Council finally put its seal on the Regulation setting up a new European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Negotiations, from the Commission's proposal in July 2003 to final agreement by both the European Parliament and the Council took just eight months. This might not be a record for agreeing new EU legislation, but in terms of the type of legislation involved - setting up a new Community body with all that entails for permanent funding and obligatory participation by Member States - it probably is. Now comes the next phase - the practical implementation of the Regulation. First amongst the priorities will be the choice of Director and the site in Stockholm. The Regulation sets out an ambitious series of requirements to make the Centre operational by May 2005 - making arrangements for the Management Board, organising the work programme for 2005, and putting in place many organisational requirements.


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