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EC Proposes Extra 100 Million Euro Funds

30 October 2008

EU - The European Commission today announced its intention to propose in early 2009 additional funding of approximately €100 million in order to co-finance the administration of vaccines to control Bluetongue disease in 2009.

Subject to the assessment of actual needs and absorption capacity, this commitment, made in an amending letter to the 2009 budget adopted today, would raise the total amount likely to be allocated to assist vaccination efforts in 2009 up to €160 million.

Prior to today's decision, the Commission had already proposed in the preliminary draft budget 2009 to allocate €60 million to co-finance the purchase of vaccines and surveillance of the insects which carry the disease. The Commission's total funding during the period 2008-2009 is expected to exceed €300 million.

European Commissioner for Health Androulla Vassiliou said: "Bluetongue has been causing serious concern to farmers and Member State authorities. It now affects large parts of the EU. Extensive vaccination will contain the disease and reduce its prevalence and its effects. I am pleased that we have been able to make this political commitment today.

"The total funding, which is expected to exceed €300 million, indicates the Commission's strong determination to decisively support Member State efforts to combat Bluetongue."

The amending letter to the 2009 budget is now being forwarded to the European Parliament and the Council. The agreement of both institutions will be necessary in order to release the funds. The additional funding will assist Member States by financing up to 50% of the costs incurred by them in administering the Bluetongue vaccine.



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