The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is a decentralised EU agency based in Stockholm, Sweden. It was established on the basis of Regulation (EC) No 851/2004 (‘Founding Regulation’) and began operating in 2005. The ECDC does not have any regulatory power. According to Article 3 of its Founding Regulation, the ECDC’s mission is to identify, assess and communicate current and emerging threats to human health posed by infectious diseases. The ECDC works in partnership with national health protection bodies across Europe, thereby pooling health knowledge to develop scientific opinions about the risks posed by infectious diseases (see also ‘Partnerships and networks’ below).