A Written Declaration (WD) on the threat of drug-resistant tuberculosis to the European region has been launched yesterday in the European Parliament. It contains recommendations calling on the European Commission and Council to financially and politically back the Global Fund 2013 replenishment and WHO Europe’s Roadmap on drug-resistant tuberculosis. It is backed by 14 MEPs from 6 different political groups and 10 different countries.

If the Written Declaration gets the support of at least the majority of the Members of the European Parliament (i.e. 377 signatories) in 3 months’ time, it will be forwarded to the legislative and executive branch of the European Institutions for follow-up. The main objective of the WD is to raise awareness and campaign on the issue in the European Parliament. This could potentially pave the way for stronger legislation on DR-TB in the future.

The Written Declaration is available in 23 European languages (see below)

Written declaration on the threat of drug-resistant tuberculosis to the European region:

  1. Tuberculosis (TB) costs the European Union EUR 750 million per year and the European region is home to the highest rates of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) in the world, accounting for nearly 20 % of the global burden
  2. The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office forEuropelaunched a ‘Roadmap to prevent and combat drug-resistant tuberculosis’ in the WHO European Region for 2011-2015 and estimates that, if not implemented, the economic loss to the region will be USD 12 billion within five years;
  3. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has treated 23 000 people for MDR-TB in Eastern Europe andCentral Asiasince 2002, and there is currently no viable substitute for this fund in the region;
  4. The Commission and the Council are hence called upon to back the Global Fund politically and financially, especially in light of its replenishment in 2013;
  5. The Commission is called upon to give financial and political backing to the WHO’s roadmap on drug-resistant tuberculosis;
  6. The Commission is called upon to support the revision of Global Fund eligibility criteria to ease restrictions on middle-income countries;
  7. This declaration, together with the names of the signatories, is forwarded to the Council and the Commission

In other official languages of the EU: Bulgarian,Italian, Czech, Lithuanian, Danish, Estonian, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Maltese, Polish, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish.