Brussels, 07 Dec 2004
Further research into developing a HIV/AIDS vaccine should be carried out under the Seventh Framework programme (FP7), concluded the European Health and Consumer Affairs Council following its meeting in Brussels on 6 December.
The Council, recognising that emerging zoonotic diseases are a national, European and global problem, also acknowledged the need for establishing a European Action Plan for zoonoses preparedness and control, and for further research into prevention to be carried out under FP7.
'A European policy to combat HIV/AIDS seemed to be justified in a moment when such a dangerous disease is not yet under control and affecting new and especially vulnerable target groups (women and children),' stated the Council's provisional conclusions.
'It was further recognised that, for this combat, the EU should use its resources effectively, in particular to foster research to develop a vaccine (namely, from the 7th Framework Programme for research and technological development). The advantages for collaboration between Member States in this field were particularly underlined so as to complement efforts and avoid duplication,' the Council added.
Noting that an influenza pandemic is likely to occur and that emerging zoonotic diseases may present a grave threat to health, the Council agreed that an integrated strategy and coordinated approach from all Member States is needed to face the scale and complexity of this threat.
The Council therefore concluded that: '[A] European Action Plan for zoonose preparedness and control should be established in order to implement an inter-sectoral and responsive Community strategy to emerging threats to zoonotic diseases. Such a plan should include integrated public health and animal health policy measures and related instruments.'
The Council also called on the European Food Safety Authority, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the European Environment Agency to work together towards the implementation of the Action Plan.
Furthermore, added the Council, Member States and the Commission should coordinate research into the prevention and management of zoonotic diseases, particularly under FP7. To read the provisional conclusions of the Council, please: click here