The European Union (EU) Decision (1082/2013/EU) on serious cross border threats to health was adopted by the European Parliament in November 2013, in recognition of the need to strengthen the capacity of Member States to coordinate the public health response to cross border threats, whether from biological, chemical, environmental events or events which have an unknown origin. Although mechanisms have been in place for years for reporting cross border health threats from communicable diseases, this has not been the case for incidents involving chemicals and/or environmental events. A variety of collaborative EU projects have been funded over the past 10. years through the Health Programme to address gaps in knowledge on health security and to improve resilience and response to major incidents involving chemicals. This paper looks at the EU Health Programme that underpins recent research activities to address gaps in resilience, planning, responding to and recovering from a cross border chemical incident. It also looks at how the outputs from the research programme will contribute to improving public health management of transnational incidents that have the potential to overwhelm national capabilities, putting this into context with the new requirements as the Decision on serious cross border threats to health as well as highlighting areas for future development.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors acknowledge the support of project partners in a number of EU funded projects ASHTII (EU project No. 20101101); ASHTIII (2007210); CIE Tookit (2007205); CARRA-Net (SC 2010 61 21); CARIMEC (SC 2010 61 22): ORCHIDS (2007203); MASH (20071209) and ECHEMNET (20111101). All these projects received funding from the European Union, in the framework of the Health Programme. The views expressed in this article are the authors' and do not necessarily reflect those of Public Health England. The project was supported financially by the European Commission Directorate for Health and Consumers (SANCO) in Luxemburg.
- Alerting and notification
- Chemical incident
- Cross border health threats
- Emergency response
- Public health risk assessment and management