The Council of Health Ministers of the European Union, meeting in Brussels on 14 May 1996, adopted the Commission's revised proposal for a Community action programme on drug dependency (1996-2000). The Ministers proposed a budget of ECU 27 million, almost ECU 2 million lower than the Commission's proposal. The proposal will now be discussed in the conciliation committee, which will try to resolve the remaining differences between the European Parliament and the Council. The Council also adopted a common position on the proposal for an action programme on health monitoring. Again, the budget of ECU 13 million agreed by the Council is slightly lower than that proposed by the Commission, and some ECU 7 million lower than that requested by the European Parliament. The proposal will now be returned to the European Parliament for second reading. Following the recent BSE crisis, the Ministers discussed the public health aspects of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. The Council agreed that monitoring and research efforts to combat Creutzfeldt Jacob Disease should be increased.