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Follow-up to the suggestions in the above-mentioned inquiry on how the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control gathered and communicated information during the COVID-19 crisis

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

Executive Director


Dear Dr X,

Thank you for your letter of 26 July 2021 informing me about the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s (ECDC) actions in response to my suggestions in the above inquiry.

I very much welcome the ECDC’s careful review of my suggestions and the various concrete steps the ECDC has already taken to implement them.

It is particularly encouraging to note that the ECDC has put in place measures to make the evolution of its scientific advice and the data underlying its scientific assessments more transparent. I am confident that the outlined measures will greatly facilitate scrutiny of the data and assessments compiled by the ECDC.

Thank you also for informing me about the ECDC’s ongoing efforts to adopt a new communication policy, which will, in line with my suggestion, designate the general public as a target audience for its communication work, promote more proactive media relations, and enhance its use of digital communication channels. The new communication policy will also address another concern that I identified during my inquiry, as it will cover the main elements of the ECDC’s publication practice regarding surveys and their results. I would be grateful if the ECDC could provide me with a copy of its new communication policy, once this has been finalised.

I furthermore welcome the ECDC’s commitment to follow my suggestion and to examine the possibilities of making the ECDC’s exchanges with its international partners more transparent.

 Finally, I note your intention to review the ECDC’s language policy in 2023. Making the ECDC’s public information material available in more official EU languages could be an important element of the ECDC’s revised communication policy and its future efforts to reach the general public. 

I take this opportunity to thank you and your staff again for the excellent cooperation throughout this inquiry.

Yours sincerely,

Emily O'Reilly

European Ombudsman

Strasbourg, 08/09/2021