EUROPE – The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has joined forces with key EU agencies—European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), European Environment Agency (EEA), and European Medicines Agency (EMA)—to affirm their steadfast commitment to the One Health agenda.
This joint statement, emanating from the One Health Conference—One Health for All, All for One Health in Luxembourg City on November 13, 2023, marks a pivotal step towards addressing the complex interplay between human, animal, plant, and environmental health.
The One Health approach recognizes the intricate links between these domains, aiming to tackle threats such as zoonotic diseases, non-communicable diseases tied to environmental factors, antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and climate-related challenges.
The collaborative effort of these agencies underscores the urgency of a unified strategy to address the multifaceted challenges facing Europe in health, food safety, climate, and sustainability.
The commitment to advancing the One Health approach revolves around four immediate priorities.
First and foremost is the imperative to enhance One Health data, emphasizing the improvement of availability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability of data related to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), infectious diseases, chemical pollution, and the impacts of climate change.
Second, the commitment involves mainstreaming the One Health approach in EU scientific advice and risk assessment, ensuring its integration into decision-making processes for a comprehensive perspective.
The third priority focuses on establishing coordinated surveillance mechanisms across human, animal, and environmental sectors, emphasizing the alignment of surveillance and early warning systems with the One Health framework.
This includes integrated surveillance systems, ecological monitoring, and understanding the drivers of disease emergence. The fourth priority centers on empowering education and training by strengthening One Health educational programs, aiming to equip future generations with the knowledge to navigate the complexities of health, environment, and agriculture.
The commitment to the One Health approach is deeply rooted in the EU’s broader strategies, including the European Green Deal, the European Health Union, and the EU Global Health Strategy.
This collaborative effort aligns with international recognition, as evidenced by organizations like the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) in their joint One Health Plan of Action (2022–2026).