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ECDC left leaderless after EU vote - Marc Sprenger loses re-election by 1 vote

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  • ECDC left leaderless after EU vote - Marc Sprenger loses re-election by 1 vote

    ECDC left leaderless after EU vote

    John Maurice

    • s

    On April 30, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), an institution widely thought to play an essential role in protecting the European population from infectious diseases, will lose its director, Marc Sprenger, who has headed the agency since 2010. In a mid-March election that brought together delegates from the 28 European Union (EU) member states he failed, by one vote, to be re-elected for a second 5-year tenure. Some in the public health community blame the stringency of the election process, which called for a two-thirds majority vote. Others invoke behind-the-scenes political manoeuvring. Many are dismayed.


    “The ECDC is the most important European public health agency”, says Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine “and Marc Sprenger has been an outstanding public health leader, developing the agency into a credible and proactive institution. It is beyond belief that he would not be confirmed as director. In these times of continuous infectious disease threats Europe needs that strong and outspoken leadership that he has been providing”.


    Since the other candidate (whose name could not be released by the European Commission because of “data protection reasons”) also failed to garner a two-thirds majority, the ECDC will be directorless for an as-yet unknown period of time.


    The Lancet has learned that the European Commission will soon publish a new vacancy notice for a director of the ECDC. Will Sprenger be a candidate for a second election? “Probably not”, he says.

  • #2
    Maybe I am missing something, but my perspective is that Marc Sprenger has done a great job in the areas of proactive assessments and reporting. He has also consistently reached out via social media. I hope politics are not in play here because the world needs an effective ECDC.