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Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis (2003-2006)

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Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis (2003-2006)

This Regulation constitutes the financial framework for implementing measures to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in the developing countries. It has three main objectives: to optimise the impact of the interventions and basic services, to increase the affordability of key pharmaceuticals and to step up research and development. This Regulation ishereby replaced by the Regulation putting in place a Financing instrument for development cooperation from 1 January 2007.


Regulation (EC) No 1568/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 July 2003 on aid to fight poverty diseases (HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis) in developing countries.


This Regulation follows on from the three communications adopted by the Commission on this subject. In September 2000, the Commission adopted a communication calling for accelerated action targeting these three diseases, followed, in February 2001, by a plan of action and an updating. This Regulation constitutes the financial framework for implementing Community actions to fight the three diseases. It will replace Regulation (EC) No 550/97 on HIV/AIDS-related operations, which until now formed the framework for the European Union's activities in this field.

Fields of action

The EU specifically targets the poorest and least developed countries and the most disadvantaged sections of the population within developing countries.

The Regulation has three specific objectives, namely:

  • optimising the impact of existing interventions, services and commodities;
  • increasing the affordability of key pharmaceuticals and diagnostics;
  • increasing research and development, including vaccines, microbicides and innovative treatments.

To this end, the Regulation envisages a wide range of activities aimed at:

  • keeping a balanced approach between prevention, treatment and care, with prevention as a key priority, acknowledging the need for a multi-sectoral approach, including targeting behavioural patterns as well as factors such as clean water and sanitation, land-use planning, nutrition and gender mainstreaming, etc.;
  • strengthening public health services in the developing countries;
  • improving understanding of the effects of poverty diseases on social and economic development, as well as the impact of strategies aimed at mitigating these effects;
  • developing high-quality local production of key preventive and therapeutic pharmaceuticals consistent with the Doha Declaration on the Agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property (TRIPs) and public health;
  • promoting a tiered pricing mechanism for key pharmaceuticals for developing countries that will guarantee the lowest possible prices;
  • encouraging private and above all public investment in the research and development of new treatments, diagnostics, and fixed-dose combinations designed to fight these three diseases. Public health must above all be a public responsibility.
  • training personnel from the developing countries;
  • supporting initiatives which enable the quality of pharmaceuticals to be supervised and monitored.


The Regulation stipulates that the Union may work in partnership with various actors involved in development cooperation in the implementation of policies. Certain partners are eligible for financial assistance under the Regulation. These include:

  • national, regional and local authorities;
  • local communities;
  • non-governmental organisations (NGOs);
  • research institutes and universities;
  • regional organisation;
  • other donors, such as the United Nations and the World Bank.


Aid may take the form of financial, technical or scientific aid. Community financing takes the form of grants. The Union's partners should contribute to the financing of the projects according to their capabilities. In certain cases the contribution may be made in kind if the partner is either a non-governmental organisation (NGO) or a community-based organisation.

The provision of financial assistance may entail co-financing with other donors, in particular with Member States, the United Nations, or development banks and international or regional financial institutions.

The resources of the Union's Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Development 2002-2006 may be used for certain actions linked to research.

The Regulation's appropriations will be awarded on the basis of invitations to tender that are open on equal terms to all natural and legal persons in the Member States and in all developing countries. It may be extended, in exceptional cases, to other third countries.


The financial envelope covering the period up to the end of 2006 has been fixed at EUR 351 million.


The European Commission is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Regulation and is also entrusted with drawing up strategic programming guidelines. It is assisted by a committee and the Member States are consulted and informed.


The evaluation of the activities undertaken within the framework of this Regulation is included in the annual report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on development policy.

The Regulation was applicable until 31 December 2006.


These three communicable diseases are responsible for over 5.5 million deaths every year. They are a particularly heavy burden on developing countries and represent a substantial obstacle to their development.

The extent of the problem has been recognised on the international scene and has resulted in calls for urgent action. The European Union contributes to the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria set up in 2001 by the United Nations. The Community contribution to the Fund is made via a financing agreement concluded between the Commission and the Fund's administrator.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1568/2003 [adoption : codecision COD/2002/0051]



Official Journal L 224 of 06.09.2003


Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation [Official Journal L 378 of 27.12.2006].

This Regulation repeals Regulation (EC) No 1568/2003 .

Last updated: 24.07.2007