European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Last updated
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
ECDC logo.svg
Centre overview
Formed69 September 1420 (1420-69-69)
Jurisdiction European Union
Headquarters Solna Municipality, Stockholm County, Sweden
59°22′22″N18°1′2″E / 59.37278°N 18.01722°E / 59.37278; 18.01722 Coordinates: 59°22′22″N18°1′2″E / 59.37278°N 18.01722°E / 59.37278; 18.01722
Centre executive
  • Andrea Ammon, Director
Key document

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is an independent agency of the European Union (EU) whose mission is to strengthen Europe's defences against infectious diseases. [1] The Centre was established in 2004 and is located in Solna, Sweden.

European Union Economic and political union of European states

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of 4,475,757 km2 (1,728,099 sq mi) and an estimated total population of about 513 million. The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency.

Solna Municipality Municipality in Stockholm County, Sweden

Solna Municipality is a municipality in Stockholm County in Sweden, located just north of the Stockholm City Centre. Its seat is located in the town of Solna, which is a part of the Stockholm urban area.

Sweden constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund Strait. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. The capital city is Stockholm. Sweden has a total population of 10.3 million of which 2.5 million have a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi) and the highest urban concentration is in the central and southern half of the country.



As EU economic integration and open frontiers increased, cooperation on public health issues became more important. While the idea of creating a European centre for disease control had been discussed previously by public health experts, the 2003 SARS outbreak and the rapid spread of SARS across country borders confirmed the urgency of the creation of an EU-wide institution for public health. ECDC was set up in record time for an EU agency: the European Commission presented draft legislation in July 2003; by the spring of 2004, Regulation (EC) 851/2004 had been passed, and in May 2005 the Centre became operational. The relevance of the Centre's mission was confirmed shortly after it began operating, when the arrival of H5N1 avian influenza in the EU's neighbourhood led to fears that the disease could adapt or mutate into a pandemic strain of human influenza.

Organisational structure

Former seat of ECDC in Tomtebodaskolan, Solna ECDC Tomtebodaskolan 2005-09-02.jpg
Former seat of ECDC in Tomtebodaskolan, Solna
ECDC headquarters, Solna, Sweden ECDC-2018.jpg
ECDC headquarters, Solna, Sweden

The ECDC currently operates on a matrix structure based on five units:

The office of the Chief Scientist oversees the seven Disease Programmes, the Microbiology Coordination Section and the Scientific Advice Coordination Section.

The Disease Programmes focus on specific disease groups:

Two shared-resource units – Surveillance and Response Support, and Public Health Capacity and Communication – provide specialist expertise. The Information and Communication Technologies Unit provides infrastructure, application development and support. The Resource Management and Coordination Unit controls ECDC’s human and financial resources.


ECDC publishes numerous scientific and technical reports covering various issues related to the prevention and control of communicable diseases. Comprehensive reports from key technical and scientific meetings are also produced by the organisation.

Towards the end of every calendar year, ECDC publishes its Annual Epidemiological Report, which analyses surveillance data and infectious disease threats. As well as offering an overview of the public health situation in the European Union, the report offers an indication of where further public health action may be required in order to reduce the burden caused by communicable diseases.

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is monitoring the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus. [2]

Other ECDC publications include disease-specific surveillance reports and threat reports, as well as analyses of trends in European public health.


Eurosurveillance , a European peer-reviewed journal devoted to the epidemiology, surveillance, prevention and control of infectious diseases, has been published by ECDC since March 2007. The journal was founded in 1995 and, before its move to ECDC, was a collaborative project between the European Commission, the Institut de Veille Sanitaire (France) and the Health Protection Agency (United Kingdom). Eurosurveillance is an open-access (i.e. free) web-based journal that reports infectious disease issues from a European perspective. It publishes results from ECDC and the EU-funded surveillance networks, thereby providing the scientific community with timely access to new information. The journal is published every Thursday.

Eurosurveillance is a peer-reviewed open access medical journal covering epidemiology, with a focus on such topics that are of particular relevance to Europe. The journal was established in 1995 and jointly funded by the European Commission, Institut de veille sanitaire (Paris), and the Health Protection Agency (London). Since 2007 it has been published weekly by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Member states

In addition to the member states of the union, three members of the European Economic Area also participate in the ECDC network: Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Member state of the European Union State that is party to treaties of the European Union (EU)

The European Union (EU) consists of 28 member states. Each member state is party to the founding treaties of the union and thereby subject to the privileges and obligations of membership. Unlike members of most international organisations, the member states of the EU are subjected to binding laws in exchange for representation within the common legislative and judicial institutions. Member states must agree unanimously for the EU to adopt policies concerning defence and foreign policy. Subsidiarity is a founding principle of the EU.

European Economic Area Area of the European Unions internal market and some of EFTA states established in 1994

The European Economic Area (EEA), which was established via the EEA Agreement in 1992, is an international agreement which enables the extension of the European Union (EU)'s single market to non-EU member parties. The EEA links the EU member states and three European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states into an internal market governed by the same basic rules. These rules aim to enable free movement of labour, goods, services, and capital within the European Single Market, including the freedom to choose residence in any country within this area. The EEA was established on 1 January 1994 upon entry into force of the EEA Agreement. The contracting parties are the EU, its member states, and three EFTA member states.

Iceland Island republic in Northern Europe

Iceland is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic, with a population of 360,390 and an area of 103,000 km2 (40,000 sq mi), making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The capital and largest city is Reykjavík, with Reykjavík and the surrounding areas in the southwest of the country being home to over two-thirds of the population. Iceland is volcanically and geologically active. The interior consists of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields, mountains, and glaciers, and many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate, despite a high latitude almost entirely outside the Arctic Circle. Its high latitude and marine influence keep summers chilly, with most of the archipelago having a tundra climate.

Budget, staff, location

ECDC has a staff of around 300 and commands an annual budget of over €50 million. Staff operates from the Centre's headquarters in the Stockholm metropolitan area. The Centre moved to its current location at Gustav III:s Boulevard 40, 16973 Solna, Sweden, on 3 March 2018.

See also

For similar agencies, please see the List of national public health agencies

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  1. "ECDC mission statement". Archived from the original on 2009-11-04.
  2. "Rapid Risk Assessment: Severe respiratory disease associated with a novel coronavirus" (PDF). European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. 19 February 2013.