European Health Union: EU steps up the fight against antimicrobial resistance

The Commission welcomes the adoption by the Council of the European Union of the Commission’s proposal to strengthen EU action against antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Announced together with the Commission’s revision of the pharmaceutical legislation on 26 April, the AMR Recommendation helps combat AMR in the fields of human, animal and environmental health, following the so-called One Health approach.

The Recommendation focusses on infection prevention and controlsurveillance and monitoringinnovation and availability of efficient antimicrobialsprudent use and cooperation among Member States and globally.

Several EU targets, developed with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), are set for 2030:

  • a 20% reduction of the total consumption of antibiotics in humans;
  • at least 65% of the total consumption of antibiotics in humans should be effective (use of the right antibiotic);
  • a reduction of infections of three key antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which will apply mainly to hospitals.

These recommended targets for the EU, which are also translated for each national level, will help the EU to tackle AMR taking into account national specificities without compromising patients’ health and safety. They will also allow better monitoring of infections and consumption of antibiotics in the coming years and adjust policy making accordingly.

This Recommendation also confirms the EU’s international leadership on AMR and calls on the Commission and the Member States to cover AMR in the pandemic agreement currently under negotiation. It also invited to keep AMR high on the agenda of the G7 and G20.


Antimicrobials are crucial medicines. However, over the years, their overuse and misuse have led to increasing antimicrobial resistance (AMR), meaning that antimicrobials lose their effectiveness, and it becomes more difficult, if not impossible, to treat infections. Therefore, the Commission included in the pharmaceutical package in April a proposal for a Council Recommendation containing complementary measures. The revision of the EU pharmaceutical legislation indeed also aims to boost the development of innovative novel antimicrobials, as well as ensuring their prudent use and lower their impact on the environment.

Source: European Commission | News (