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23/06/2006

Commission Communication on Actions for a Safer Europe

On the 23rd of June, the European Commission adopted a Communication and Action Plan with the aim of reducing the burden of accidents and injuries which are the fourth major cause of death in the EU.

The Communication makes accident prevention a priority for the current and future Public Health Action Programmes (the EU's funding mechanism to support projects in the Member States). It also calls on Member States to work with the EU and to prioritise accident prevention through information campaigns and data collection.

The aim of the Action Plan is to put accidents and injuries high on the political agenda and to reduce the burden of them on our societies. It suggests:

  • Developing an EU Injury Information System that will provide comprehensive information on the scale of the problem, groups at risk and risk determinants.
  • Supporting exchange of good practice:
  • Setting up an EU network of stakeholders:
  • Vocational training of healthcare professionals on safety promotion: In addition to promoting training of healthcare professionals, the Plan foresees training teachers, welfare workers, architects and sales staff on hazards and safety measures.
  • Preparation of national action plans for injury prevention by Member States:
  • Information campaigns.

These actions would be supported through the Public Health Action Programme for 2003-2008 and its successors, and would require sustained collaborative efforts from the Member States.

The Plan aims to focus on the safety of children, adolescents and elderly citizens. It also focuses on vulnerable road users (e.g. cyclists, pedestrians, public transport users), complementing the Road Safety policy led by the Commission's Directorate-General for Transport and Energy (DG TREN). It also targets the prevention of sports injuries, self-harm (including suicide) and interpersonal violence (domestic violence, violent attacks etc).

Next steps:

The Commission will propose a Council recommendation on accidents and injuries, following the adoption of the Communication today. The Recommendation seeks to highlight this issue, raise awareness and set out steps for further action.

Further information:

http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_determinants/environment/IPP/ipp_en.htm

First European Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion: http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_determinants/environment/IPP/documents/ev_20060625_en.pdf