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European Commission Representation in Cyprus
News article13 June 2023Representation in Cyprus2 min read

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

The Commission welcomes today's 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.

For more information

Council Recommendation on antimicrobial resistance

Q&A Antimicrobial Resistance (

Factsheet on tackling antimicrobial resistance

EU Action on Antimicrobial Resistance


This is a good day for health. Not only human health, but also for animal health and for a healthy environment! Thanks to the speedy work of the Swedish Presidency and Health Ministers, we have a Council Recommendations on antimicrobial resistance. Our fight against AMR will be a long one, but this Recommendation is a major milestone.

Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life - 13/06/2023


I welcome the Councils record time adoption of our proposal to take stronger action against antimicrobial resistance. This clearly shows the determination at EU level to fight AMR with utmost urgency, crucial for a strong European Health Union that protects its citizens. We now have clear targets set to tackle a major health threat costing the lives of 35,000 persons in the EU every year. I want to thank the Swedish Presidency for its efforts and attention to this important topic.

Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety - 13/06/2023


Publication date
13 June 2023
Representation in Cyprus