BRUSSELS, (May 27)
The European recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic makes the Health in All Policies approach ever more urgent
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, European citizens remain largely affected by the virus and the subsequent measures taken around the world. Citizens are experiencing an unprecedented impact on their health & well-being as a result of the major strain placed on healthcare, education, jobs and the wider European economy.
Coordinating an emergency response remains the priority and we would like to express our strong support for the wide-ranging actions already taken by the European Union (EU) to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. But more needs to be done in the medium to long term so Europe can fully recover and be better prepared for the future.
The consequences of the pandemic cut across all aspects of people’s lives. The personal and professional changes experienced by citizens are provoking reflections on fundamental aspects of society – from the economy to the social, and environmental context they live in. Effectively increasing the European focus on health will require a cross-sectoral approach, addressing health & well-being in all fields.
As a multi-stakeholder initiative geared towards putting citizens’ health & well-being at the heart of EU policy-making, All Policies for a Healthy Europe believes that the EU can lead globally in implementing a Health in All Policies approach in response to this crisis.
We call on the EU to put citizens’ health & well-being at the centre of policy-making by:
- Effectively and consistently mainstreaming health & well-being considerations across the EU recovery policies and long-term growth strategies, including the Multiannual Financial Framework, the EU industrial strategy and the European Green Deal.
- Strengthening the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) to enhance the EU competence in the field of health and to develop prevention and responses plan against any future pandemic, together with the EU Member States.
- Rapidly creating a European Health Data Space to enable health data exchanges and strengthen cooperation across Member States, in order to effectively enable value-based approaches to health as well as to help promote a research environment fit for innovation.
- Ensuring the inclusion of extensive health, well-being and environmental indicators in the European Semester, to integrate and realise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Setting up an EU Observatory on Health & Well-Being, as a multi-stakeholder platform aimed at assessing the impact of all relevant EU policies on citizens’ health & well-being.
- Introducing an EU Charter of Health & Well-Being to establish common principles in measuring the effect of EU policies on the quality of people’s lives.
- Empowering citizens to play a more active role in disease prevention and the promotion of health, including though innovative digital solutions and the improvement of health literacy.
In this context, we strongly encourage the EU to discuss its role in citizens’ health & well-being during the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe.
The European recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic makes the EU’s Health in All Policies approach ever more urgent. Mainstreaming health & well-being across EU policies will be crucial in the post-COVID reality, including developing efficient healthcare systems, enhancing environmental protection and biodiversity, ensuring the uptake of digital health solutions and supporting the development of an Economy of Well-being.
We encourage the paradigm shift to a ‘well-being system’ where the maintenance of good health is the primary focus. Only by breaking down silos across sectors will the EU ensure a fair and inclusive recovery that will effectively improve its citizens’ well-being.
We are ready to engage with the European Commission through a Structured Dialogue, which will ensure the promotion of EU citizens health & well-being during the EU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in the longer-term perspective.
All Policies for a Healthy Europe is an intersectoral initiative composed of influential non-governmental and not-for-profit organisations, think-tanks, trade associations and individual companies. We aim to ensure that health & well-being are put at the centre of all areas of EU policy making. We see health & well-being as crucial contributors to a stronger economic model, one that targets inclusive growth and sustainable development. We champion a broad vision of health policy, encompassing Europe’s role in addressing the multi-dimensional determinants of health & well-being – economic, social, environmental, commercial and political. We seek opportunities for collaboration beyond the healthcare sector, and we embrace the potential of data and digital technologies to improve citizens’ well-being.
The Healthy Europe Knowledge Partners contribute to the strategic direction of the initiative, providing data and guidance on content, as well as input on political and communications activities. Our Knowledge Partners are: Active Citizenship Network, Digital Health Society, European Connected Health Alliance, European Student Network (ESN), EurEau, European Health Future Forum (EHFF), European Health Management Association (EHMA), European Patients’ Forum (EPF), European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), EU40, Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI), Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), MedTech Europe and Re-Imagine Europa. This initiative is made possible by the sponsorship of Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Randstad and Philips.
Download this declaration.