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EC to fight pollution-related diseases

As the incidence of pollution-related disease increases in Europe, public concern is growing. In response, the European Union is taking direct action to prevent the spread of diseases linked to pollution, and to inform and educate the public at large about them so that, armed ...
As the incidence of pollution-related disease increases in Europe, public concern is growing. In response, the European Union is taking direct action to prevent the spread of diseases linked to pollution, and to inform and educate the public at large about them so that, armed with this knowledge, individuals might be able to reduce their own exposure to danger.

The Parliament and Council Decision adopting a three-year programme for action on pollutant-related diseases in the context of the framework for action in the field of public health has recently been published in the Official journal. This programme, which runs from January 1999 until December 2001, will be supported with a budget of 3.9 million euro for actions to improve information on pollution-related diseases, and knowledge and understanding of how best to assess and manage them.

These objectives will be pursued through a programme that should ensure better comparability of information and develop actions that complement existing EU initiatives. The Commission will ensure its implementation throughout the Member States, promoting cooperation between the institutions and organisations involved in studies of pollution-related diseases. To do this, the Commission will enlist the assistance of an advisory committee of representatives from EU Member States. This group will draft a work programme and set out the criteria and procedures for selecting and financing projects under the programme.

The programme itself will also be subject to continuous evaluation and monitoring, with special attention being paid to its effectiveness and achievements in relation to the initial aims. The advisory committee will also be responsible for drafting guidelines for these procedures. And as the programme nears its conclusion in 2001, the Commission will submit a report to the Parliament and Council outlining its effectiveness and how best to proceed in similar work in the future.

Source: Official Journal of the European Communities

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