2020 was a crazy year, full of unexpected challenges and changes. We all had to rapidly adapt to lockdowns and social distancing measures, and adjust to a new way of working. 

Nevertheless, despite all the challenges 2020 posed, TBEC still had a very successful year and we were able to successfully carry out a number of important activities including webinars, national dialogues, and the development of various technical and policy briefings. We successfully expanded our network, gaining several new members through our webinars, national dialogues, and (virtual) coaching visits. TBEC and TBEC members also presented in 7 sessions at the Union Conference, and TBEC was recognised by WHO/Euro as a key partner in implementing the WHO multi-sectoral accountability framework tool for TB in the EECA region. This was a huge achievement, and we intend to continue to support members in EECA countries to strengthen their engagement in national TB policies and support high-level political commitment to end TB through strengthening multisectoral collaboration and accountability. All the resources from these events as well as recordings from our webinars can be found on our new website under resources.

Over the last 12 months, we were also able to strengthen our engagement at EU level through the Civil Society Forum on HIV, TB, and Viral Hepatitis, and have been involved in the creation of a European Respiratory Health Network. TBEC hopes to continue to increase involvement with our EU-based members over the coming months. 

We have a lot of interesting activities planned for 2021, including the launch of an MEP group (Political group of the European Parliament) on lung health, webinars on migration and health, and a new CRG work plan. Make sure to keep an eye out for them in the coming months. 

A year after China first reported a cluster of novel pneumonia cases in Wuhan Province to the WHO, COVID-19 is still dominating the headlines, with millions around the world entering the new year in lockdowns. Progress is being made with 4 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Sputnik V) now being rolled out in different countries across the globe, and there is hope that things will have calmed down a bit by the end of 2021. TBEC continues to support civil society organisations and activists in their advocacy roles in the WHO Europe Region, and work towards achieving the elimination of TB. We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our members a happy and fruitful new year despite the ongoing challenges posed by Coronavirus.