Doc. 9356

4 February 2002

Joint development of public health measures against
bio-terrorism in Europe

Motion for a resolution

presented by Mrs Edeltraud Gatterer and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

1.       Since 11 September 2001, the threat of a large-scale terrorist attack on civilian populations is no longer in the realm of the unthinkable. For the Parliamentary Assembly, the risks of bio-terrorism, in other words chemical, biological or nuclear terrorism, are no longer merely a matter for science-fiction writers. They now strike a deep and troubling chord which political decision-makers cannot ignore.

2.       Political leaders with responsibility for their people can no longer choose to overlook these dangers, even if they are merely hypothetical or the deeds of political or religious fanatics or dangerous madmen.

3.       An objective assessment of the risks and a list of exposed sites such as nuclear power stations, water towers, etc should be drawn up by the political authorities responsible in each country and at European level. Public health measures should be debated and recommended, such as increases in chlorine in the water supply, the possibility of distributing gas-masks or iodine tablets, or setting up a health monitoring centre. Provision will have to be made for the funds necessary to carry out such measures. The population must be informed and educated.

4.       The threat is a worldwide one. For example, no frontier will stop the spread of smallpox, anthrax, the plague or botulism. Consultation should be regional and global and developing countries should not be excluded from talks.

5.       The Parliamentary Assembly invites member states of the Council of Europe to devise an emergency action plan to prevent and counter bio-terrorism, and invites its Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee to prepare a report on this subject.

Signed (see overleaf)

Signed : 1

Gatterer, Austria, EPP/CD

Atkinson, United Kingdom, EDG

Azzolini, Italy,EPP/CD

Chikhradze, Georgia, EPP/CD

Etherington, United Kingdom, SOC

Fehr, Switzerland, LDR

Gierek, Poland, SOC

Glesener, Luxembourg, EPP/CD

Gubert, Italy, EPP/CD

Jäger, Germany, SOC

Kurucsai, Hungary, EP/CD

van der Linden, Netherlands, EPP/CD

Monfils, Belgium, LDR

Rustamyan, Armenia, SOC

Sağlam, Turkey, EPP/CD

Stankevič, Lithuania, LDR

Weiss, Slovakia, SOC

1        SOC: Socialist Group

      EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party

      EDG: European Democratic Group

      LDR : Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group

      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left

      NR: not registered in a group