ECDC signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK Health Security Agency

The cooperation activities envisaged under this Memorandum of Understanding include the exchange of information, mutual consultation in the event of an emerging health threat that may affect or be of concern to the European Union and the United Kingdom, and a potential exchange of staff and liaison officers.

Director Ammon said: “I welcome this agreement with the UK, and am committed to building a mutually beneficial relationship with UKHSA. Any infectious disease that may strike the EU can target the UK and vice versa; therefore, CEO Harry and I recognize that sharing knowledge and experience is critical. By signing this Memorandum of Understanding, we are continuing our work to enhance international cooperation.The European Center for Disease Control and Prevention has already made tremendous progress in this regard, by signing agreements with the United States CDC, the Chinese Center for Disease Control, and the Health Agency Canadian public, the CDC in Israel, the Department of Health in Mexico, and most recently through partnerships with the South Korean Centers for Disease Control and with Africa CDC.”

Jenny Harris, CE of UKHSA, said: “I am delighted to sign this agreement with Principal Ammon today. This MoU demonstrates the UKHSA’s continued commitment, on behalf of the United Kingdom, to the closest possible cooperation with ECDC. The MoU establishes a new sustainable and effective relationship that better supports both the Occupational Health and Safety Services Agency (UKHSA) and the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) to prepare, detect and respond to health protection incidents and outbreaks. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, infectious diseases do not respect borders. UKHSA firmly believes that health security collaboration with our international partners is imperative to protect all of our citizens.”

Areas of common interest for cooperation under this MoU include: epidemiological intelligence – rapid exchange of information especially in a public health emergency, public health emergency preparedness and response, epidemiological disease surveillance and control, health risk assessment, and laboratory capacity – building and strengthening to detect emerging disease threats Globally important health and response, antimicrobial resistance and healthcare-associated infections, vaccine-preventable and immunization diseases, emerging diseases, food, water, vector-borne diseases, zoonoses, coronavirus/influenza and other respiratory infections, sexually transmitted diseases and viruses and blood-borne tuberculosis training in public health and communication.

Basic information

The ECDC Strategy 2021-2027 sets a goal to contribute to increasing health security in the European Union through international cooperation and harmonization in relation to infectious disease policy and practice. This goal is planned for through Strategic Objective 4 – “Increasing health security in the European Union by strengthening cooperation and coordination between ECDC and partners in non-EU countries.

This strategic objective calls for increased collaboration with the major Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDCs), among other international partners. The European Center for Disease Control and Prevention has established bilateral relationships with several community development centers at the global level. Memoranda of Understanding were already signed in 2007 with the US CDC, China’s CDC, and Public Health Canada.

In 2012, an administrative agreement was signed with the CDC in Israel, and in June 2021 a memorandum of understanding was signed with the Mexican Ministry of Health.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care. The Occupational Health and Safety Services Authority (UKHSA) is responsible for planning, preventing and responding to external health threats, providing intellectual, scientific and operational leadership at the national and local levels, as well as at the global level.

For more inquiries

ECDC Press Office: press@ecdc.europa.eu / +46 (0) 8 58 60 16 78

HSA UK Press Office: UKHSA-Pressofice@phe.gov.uk



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