Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a complex public health concern necessitating the involvement of diverse stakeholders across sectors and levels of organization and governance. National, regional and global policies should address the complex factors driving AMR, and be based on public health principles such as surveillance, prevention, containment and research.

Since 1998, WHO has highlighted the need for joint global action on AMR. Currently, the main policies shaping efforts and priorities at WHO/Europe are the Global action plan on antimicrobial resistance, endorsed at the Sixty-eighth World Health Assembly in May 2015, and the European strategic action plan on antibiotic resistance, adopted by Member States in September 2011.

In addition to these, WHO/Europe supports the development of national action plans. It encourages countries in the WHO European Region to develop and have in place by 2017 national action plans on AMR that are aligned with the objectives of the Global action plan. WHO/Europe provides technical guidance to selected countries in the Region on developing and setting up these national action plans.