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EU: Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council

Volume 710: debated on Thursday 7 May 2009

Statement

My right honourable friend the Minister of State, Department of Health (Dawn Primarolo) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council met on 30 April to discuss the influenza A/H1N1 infection. I represented the United Kingdom.

At the meeting Ministers received reports on the situation from the director of the European Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organisation (WHO). The EU Health Commissioner, Androulla Vassiliou, stressed the importance of continued co-operation at the EU and international level.

The council unanimously adopted conclusions welcoming the effective response to the outbreak so far and reaffirming member states’ commitment to continue their co-operative work through existing EU structures. The member states agreed to continue to act together to respond to the threat, under the guidance of the WHO, including taking appropriate measures to protect public health.

The conclusions noted the council’s willingness, with the Commission, to engage with, and assist, non-EU countries most affected by the virus.

Thanks to the leadership of the WHO and due to our established emergency preparedness structures at EU level, we are well prepared to act in response to this outbreak.