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  • Programme of Community action on the prevention of AIDS and certain other communicable diseases within the framework for action in the field of public health, 1995-1999

Previous programme


Programme funding

EUR 49,6 million

Official Journal Reference

L 95 of 1996-04-16

Legislative Reference

647/96/EC of 1996-03-29
To encourage cooperation between Member States, support their operations and promote coordination between their policies and programmes within the framework of the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases.


The proposal for a programme of Community action on the prevention of AIDS and other communicable diseases is presented in the context of Article 129 of the Treaty on European Union, which gives the Community a role in the area of public health. Under the terms of Article 129, the Community must address itself to preventing disease and protecting health. Once adopted, the programme would build on the activities presently being carried out under the "Europe against AIDS" programme, which is currently in the process of being extended to cover the period 1994-1995.

Within the framework established for Community action in the public health field, as defined in the Commission's Communication of 24 November 1993 (COM(93) 559), the role of the Community is identified as underpinning the efforts of the Member States, assisting in the formulation and implementation of objectives and strategies, and contributing to the provision of health protection across the Community, setting as a target the best results already obtained in a given area anywhere in the Community.

In light of this, the aim of the programme of Community action is to encourage cooperation between Member States, support their operations and suport coordination between their policies and programmes within the framework of the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases, such as cholera, hepatitis A and C, rabies, tuberculosis, brucellosis, salmonellosis, listeriosis, etc.

The intermediate objectives of Community action include reducing mortality and morbidity caused by communicable diseases and reducing the risk of infection by the AIDS virus or other infectious agents. This is to be achieved by stimulating Member States to develop their own resources for the prevention of AIDS and other communicable diseases, prevention strategies and cooperation, particularly through support for exchanges, identification and dissemination of best practice and the creation of networks. The Community will also support the development of guidelines and financial assistance for programmes or pilot projects aimed at improving the effectiveness of prevention both among professionals in the social and health fields and among the general public.


Four areas:

- Surveillance and monitoring of communicable diseases:
To help to improve knowledge and dissemination of information and data concerning HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases, taking into account international disease classification provisions. Efforts are also to be made to improve the coordination of systems for monitoring these diseases and coordinating Community-level responses, particularly in the event of an epidemic outbreak;

- Combating transmission:
To assist efforts to prevent the transmission of HIV and other sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs), particularly as regards high-risk environments and behaviour and to ensure optimum vaccination cover in the Community for certain communicable diseases;

- Information, education and training:
To help increase awareness and improve public information and education and provide better training for health professionals and relevant personnel;

- Support for persons with HIV/AIDS and combating discrimination:
To assist efforts to ensure that persons with HIV/AIDS receive assistance in line with their needs and are not discriminated against in any way.


The Commission is responsible for ensuring the implementation of the actions covered by the programme, in close cooperation and partnership with the Member States. The Commission is assisted by an Advisory Committee, comprising two representatives from each Member State and chaired by a representative of the Commission. Institutions and organizations active in the field of prevention of AIDS and other communicable diseases shall take part in the implementation of the actions envisaged under the programme.

The Commission must ensure consistency and complementarity between the Community measures to be implemented under this action programme and those included under other Community programmes and initiatives. These include the specific programme of research and technological development in the field of biomedicine and health under the Fourth Framework Programme (1994-98), and those currently being developed, such as those on drug dependency, health promotion, education and training (SOCRATES and LEONARDO DA VINCI), health data and indicators, and monitoring and surveillance of diseases.

The activities covered by the programme should both add to the global fight against AIDS and other communicable diseases and profit from the relevant experience gained from non-Community states and the work of international organizations. To this end, close cooperation will be encouraged with third countries and international organizations active in the area of public health, in particular the World Health Organization (WHO). Where feasible, joint actions will be pursued.

Those EFTA members party to the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement and countries in Central and Eastern Europe with whom the Community has concluded association agreements, may be associated in the implementation of the actions covered by the programme in accordance with the provisions of these agreements.

The budgetary authority is to determine the appropriations for each financial year. An indicative budget of ECU 49.6 million has been proposed, scheduled over the five-year period as follows: 1995 ECU 9 million; 1996 ECU 9.4 million; 1997 ECU 9.9 million; 1998 ECU 10.4 million; 1999 ECU 10.9 million.

Community funding may be granted from the programme budget to co-finance projects in the field of health education, improving knowledge among the public and certain risk groups, and training and stimulation of cooperation between Member States in the field of prevention. These projects will be selected and implemented, where necessary, with national coordinating committees to be established at the request of Member States, with participation by all those involved in the field.

The following selection criterion is to apply to projects co-financed by the Community:

- Compatibility with the programme's general objectives and conformity with at least one of the established or specific objectives;
- Examination of the "added Community value" of the projects (transnational participation, development of a model application in other Member States, information which can be used in other Member States, etc.);
- Expected effectiveness and profitibility;
- Population targeted or affected by the measure;
- Relevance of the selected methodology;
- Suitability of budget for objectives;
- Support for projects from national partners;
- Objective assessment;
- Opinion of the advisory committee concerned.

The Commission will regularly publish information on the actions undertaken and opportunities for Community support in the various fields of action. It must also submit a mid-term and overall report at the end of the programme to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee, and the Committee of the Regions.
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