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European Union governments call for a more ambitious approach on antimicrobial resistance
  1. Richard Price
  1. Correspondence to Richard Price, Department of Policy and Advocacy, European Association of Hospital Pharmacy, 3 Rue Abbe Cuypers, Brussels, Brussels 1040, Belgium; richard.price{at}

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The European Union's (EU) 28 member state governments have reached an important set of new conclusions on the actions they must take together to help combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The Council conclusions on the next steps under a One Health approach to combat antimicrobial resistance represent the culmination of intense efforts by the six-month Dutch presidency of the Council of the European Union to forge a fresh political resolution on the topic.

‘Council conclusions’ on any topic give the European Commission a mandate to take initiatives secure in the knowledge that it represents the will of the EU’s member state Governments.

New EU AMR Action Plan required

A key highlight of the conclusions is the call from Governments for the development of a new EU Action Plan on antimicrobial resistance, that should go further than previous versions. The new action plan should include ‘measurable (clearly defined quantitative or qualitative) goals, benchmarks and effective measures to achieve these goals’, something lacking from the previous action plan.

National AMR Action Plans before mid-2017

The conclusions also call for national AMR action plans to be in place in all EU countries before mid-2017. These should include measurable goals to reduce infections in humans and animals, and the use of antimicrobials in the human and veterinary sector. The conclusions urge all EU member states to include within their national AMR action plans measures to improve prescribing practices, and means of monitoring progress.

EU Guidelines on prudent use of antimicrobials in human medicine

The European Commission is further instructed by the Conclusions to develop EU guidelines on prudent use of antimicrobials in human medicine in order to support national guidelines and recommendations.

Commenting on the 2016 Council Conclusions on AMR, Tajda Miharija Gala, EAHP Vice-President and lead spokesperson on antimicrobial resistance, said:EAHP has argued strongly of the necessity for a new EU action plan on AMR, but also one with more ‘teeth’ than the previous version. …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.