Support and services to EU/EEA countries
Targeted Country Support (TCS) focuses on ECDC’s work with the EU/EEA Member States. ECDC coordinates support in the field of disease prevention and control for Member States with specific needs, in the most equitable and efficient way possible. The primary stakeholders are the ECDC coordinating competent bodies (CCB) through national coordinators.
Concrete country support activities address the needs of a country or a group of countries for a particular issue. Activities are tailored to the identified needs of the country, and are co-created with the experts in the respective country without overburdening them.
Recent and ongoing activities:
- A targeted country support initiative aimed at increasing vaccination acceptance uptake in 11 EU Member States was started by ECDC in 2021. The support focused on the 11 Member States which had a lower COVID-19 vaccination uptake than the EU/EEA average. As part of this initiative, a training of trainers (ToT) course on communication for frontline health workers will take place in Bucharest, Romania, on 7–9 December 2022.
- ECDC put together a Ukraine Task Force to support the five Member States in the neighbourhood of Ukraine (Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia) and the Republic of Moldova, with an increased influx of refugees. Read more
- ECDC offers specific country support on particular topics, e.g., issues related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
For more details, please contact: Country.Support@ecdc.europa.eu
To promote vaccination against COVID-19 in Europe, ECDC Director Andrea Ammon initiated a series of bilateral discussions in October and November 2021 with Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
At the time, these countries had a lower COVID-19 vaccination coverage than the EU/EEA average. The aim of these discussions was to learn about the current situation and vaccination measures in the countries, and how ECDC could offer specific support to address issues that the countries were facing.
The ECDC Director also travelled to Bulgaria, Estonia and Latvia to participate in press briefings and meetings with the Ministers of Health, Directors of the National Institutes of Public Health, and public health experts.
ECDC has been organising various initiatives to support the 11 Member States in their COVID-19 vaccination effort. These initiatives include:
- webinars on promoting COVID-19 vaccination through social media
- e-learning courses on understanding vaccine acceptance
- technical support from the ECDC modelling team
- tailored support for countries as requested by Member States, prompting ECDC to organise country-specific Q&A sessions and webinars
- development of adapted and tailored communication materials, tools, and other media products.
These activities provide a platform where public health experts and clinicians can consult with experts from EU agencies and other organisations, and exchange knowledge with other national experts.
These actions included the coordination and involvement from the Directorates-General for Health and Food Safety and Communication of the European Commission, the Coalition for Vaccination member associations, as well as coordination with the WHO Regional Office for Europe.
Specific and enhanced work on country support in diseases related to the Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.3 is to ‘end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases, and other communicable diseases’ by 2030.
Towards this end, the World Health Organization (WHO) has published Global health sector strategies that aim to end AIDS and the epidemics of viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by 2030 through joint action in areas of convergence while maintaining disease specificities. The WHO Regional Office for Europe has also developed regional action plans for HIV, viral hepatitis and STIs as well as tuberculosis.
Common to all these diseases is the need to deliver effective interventions, including prevention, testing and treatment, aimed at the correct individuals, at scale and in time to make a difference. Furthermore, many of the diseases are associated with stigma and groups that experience social marginalisation, which presents a unique set of challenges. Given the progress thus far and the challenges faced, increased collaboration and efforts are needed to achieve SDG 3.3.
To help EU/EEA countries progress towards achieving the SDGs and other global goals, ECDC supports the countries through:
- assessment of EU-level and country epidemiological trends and progress towards the SDGs, providing countries with an opportunity to benchmark their progress over time and against their neighbours in the region.
- setting of standards (i.e., case definitions, data quality assessments) and supporting harmonised, high-quality surveillance and monitoring activities.
- development and publication of scientific guidance, risk assessments, surveillance and monitoring reports related to viral hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, STIs and tuberculosis.
- provision of capacity-building activities such as trainings, workshops, country-to-country exchanges and webinars aimed at exchanging practices and strengthening EU/EEA countries’ technical and scientific capacities to prevent and control these diseases.
- provision of consultancies aimed at strengthening EU/EEA countries’ technical and scientific capacities to prevent and control these diseases.
- identification of funding opportunities such as those provided via the European Commission’s EU4Health programme.
Contact SBT@ecdc.europa.eu for:
- regular SDG-related country support updates via subscription to the SBT disease programme newsletter
- general questions.