The Regional Steering Committee of the GF-TADs for Europe acts as a regional stakeholder platform, involving the Bureau of the Regional Commission for Europe, several Delegates of other countries in the region, representatives of the FAO, WHO and OIE, leading regional technical organizations. The Secretariat is provided by the OIE sub-regional Representation in Brussels. The GF-TADs for Europe operates under the overall guidance and supervision of the GF-TADs Global Steering Committee and Management Committee.
The Terms of Reference of the Regional Steering Committee and Regional Secretariat of the GF-TADs for Europe were endorsed in 2010.
The European branch of the GF-TADs was originally intended to provide a coordinated and effective response to the threat of avian influenza (highly pathogenic avian influenza [HPAI] strain H5N1) affecting several European countries. Additionally, it provided a multi-stakeholder consultation and coordination platform to define a longer-term harmonised regional vision and policy for the prevention and control of priority transboundary animal diseases in the region. Among these, Avian Influenza (HPAI), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), African Swine Fever (ASF), Classical Swine Fever (CSF), Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR), Rabies. Since 2012, Brucellosis was added, to face its growing epidemiological importance in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Reinforcing Veterinary Services was also selected as a priority theme for action in the region.
At its Third Meeting (RSC3, Brussels, February 2010), the Regional Steering Committee asked its Secretariat to work on formulating a multi-annual regional action plan (Recommendation No. 1 of the RSC3), in response to requests from several Member Countries. The GF-TADs Europe was the first to start work on its Action Plan.
In 2011, a working group was formed to prepare the regional action plan, with representatives of the OIE, FAO and the European Commission, guided by the GF-TADs regional Secretariat.
The GF-TADs 5-year Action Plan was presented and discussed at the fourth meeting of the GF-TADs Europe Steering Committee, held in Brussels in January 2012. Members officially validated it in late April, at which point it became operational. The 5-year Action Plan was eventually amended at the 5th meeting of the Regional Steering Committee, the latest version being labelled as “Final version (2013) Rev 2”.
The expected outcomes and a list of activities were defined for each disease, which involved holding regional consultations and training meetings and drawing-up a portfolio of regional activities for each disease.
GF-TADs labelling attribution process is precisely described in the 5-year action plan. Regional activities resulting from a GF-TADs global prevention and control strategy are automatically labelled GF-TADs, as is currently the case for FMD. The same applies to GF-TADs labelling of activities underpinning the core activities of GF-TADs Europe, such as Steering Committee meetings or any other activity to support the regional Secretariat. For other activities, it is up to the project leader to submit a request for labelling to the GF-TADs Steering Committee on a purely voluntary basis.
The effectiveness of GF-TADs is regularly measured, using performance indicators linked chiefly to the epidemiological situation in the region, after establishing the reference situation for each of the indicators selected in 2011.