All activities of the Centre are based on the mission statement as formulated in Article 3 of the ECDC Founding Regulation EC 851/2004. Based on this mission statement and following texts in the Founding Regulation there are some core activities within the Centre, mainly:
ECDC is responsible for the surveillance of infectious diseases in the European Union and shall maintain the databases for epidemiological surveillance. Data are collected by the ECDC for case-based reporting from the Member States for the routine surveillance of the 46 diseases plus SARS, West Nile Fever and Avian Influenza.
One of the key ECDC targets included in the multiannual work programme is that ‘by 2013, ECDC’s reputation for scientific excellence and leadership will be firmly established among its partners in public health, and ECDC will be a major resource for scientific information and advice on infectious diseases for the Commission, the Parliament, the Member States and their citizens’.
Identification of emerging health threats (epidemic intelligence)
Epidemic Intelligence encompasses activities related to early warning functions but also signal assessments and outbreak investigation. It aims to speed up detection of potential health threats and allow timely response.
Preparedness and response
The preparedness and response activities aim for a European Union to be fully prepared to effectively respond to any communicable disease threat. This translates in the focus on pandemic and generic preparedness activities, and the support to the investigation and control of public health threats from communicable diseases or diseases of unknown origin.
ECDC Training activities support capacity building in Members States through the organisation of specific short courses and through the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET).
The Centre shall communicate on its own initiative in the fields within its mission, after having given prior information to the Member States and to the Commission. It shall ensure that the public and any interested parties are rapidly given objective, reliable and easily accessible information with regard to the results of its work.