At its meeting on 9 and 10 June the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council of the European Union (EPSCO) adopted conclusions on antimicrobial resistance. The Council shows a high awareness for the problem of healthcare-associated infections (HCAI) and calls on the European Commission and EU Member States to take further actions in this policy field. Concrete recommendations concern the exchange of best practices, the improvement of surveillance systems and further support for research initiatives.

Next steps in this policy field are a technical workshop on antimicrobial resistance in Paris on 6 and 7 November 2008, organised by France, and a European Antibiotics Awareness Day on 18 November. Furthermore the European Commission is expected to publish its’ recommendation on healthcare-associated infections at the end of the year. The Czech Republic, which will take over the EU presidency in January 2009, will also be organising a conference with the aim to formulate basic standards for hospitals’ antimicrobial programmes in the first half of 2009.

To read the complete Council resolution, please click here.