European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) - (Decentralised Agencies)

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Decentralised Agencies

Decentralised agencies contribute to the implementation of EU policies. They also support cooperation between the EU and national governments by pooling technical and specialist expertise from both the EU institutions and national authorities. Decentralised agencies are set up for an indefinite period and are located across the EU.


European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)



  • Role: Strengthening Europe's defences against infectious diseases
  • Director: Andrea Ammon
  • Established in: 2005
  • Number of staff: 290
  • Location: Stockholm (Sweden)
  • Website: ECDC


What it does

  • Analyse and interpret data from EU countries on 52 communicable diseases and conditions, using the European Surveillance System (TESSy).
  • Provide scientific advice to the EU governments and institutions.
  • Ensure early detection and analysis of emerging threats to the EU.
  • Coordinate the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET) and the European Programme for Public Health Microbiology Training (EUPHEM).
  • Help EU governments prepare for outbreaks of disease.
  • Organise ESCAIDE, the European Scientific Conference on Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology, an annual 3-day scientific conference.



The ECDC comprises:

Its organisational structure comprises 5 units:

  • Office of the Chief Scientist
  • Surveillance & Response Support
  • Public Health Capacity & Communication
  • Resource Management & Coordination
  • Information & Communication Technologies


How it works

It provides surveillance data and scientific advice on the 52 notifiable communicable diseases and conditions, disease outbreaks and public health threats. The Agency draws expertise and knowledge from its own expert staff, pan-European disease networks and national public health bodies.

The ECDC operates 3 essential systems, each covering a different area of disease control:

  • EWRS (threat detection alerts)
  • EPIS (epidemic intelligence)
  • TESSy (disease surveillance).


It works closely with all other EU agencies and with non-EU organisations, including:


Who benefits

  • the public health community in Europe, in particular
    • national & sub-national public health bodies in the EU/EEA
    • the EU institutions
    • other European policymakers
  • public health professionals, researchers, international organisations & national authorities outside Europe.
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