Margaritis Schinas stresses the importance of a European Health Union in his opening remarks at policy event in Brussels
BRUSSELS, June 22, 2022
All Policies for a Healthy Europe (Healthy Europe)– across-sectoral coalition of NGOs, think-tanks, associations and corporations – convened a high-level gathering of multi-stakeholder experts to discuss the growing interdependency of health, growth and development at its flagship event held yesterday in Brussels. Panellists and speakers also included representatives from the European institutions: Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President of the European Commission for a European Way of Life; Birgitta Sacrédeus, Chair of the Interregional Group on Health and Well-being, European Committee of the Regions; and Philippe Roux, Head of Unit, Health information and integration in all policies, DG SANTE, European Commission.
Held under the theme of ‘Strengthening Resilience Across Europe – European Health Union: The Key Pillar For An Economy Of Well-Being’, the discussion heard perspectives on the ways to ensure that health and well-being remain at the core of policy consideration across key areas such as Digital, Economy and the Environment. Participants also debated the role of the European Union (EU) in health policies as Europe looks to rebuild from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Noting the importance of health resilience in his introductory remarks, Schinas reflected on the lessons learned from the global response to Covid-19 and outlined the concrete steps that will be taken in 2022 to achieve a European Health Union. He noted, “We are not done in dealing with health emergencies. It is crucial that high levels of investment in health security and resilience are now called for. We know very clearly the direction of where we should be heading. In Europe, we need a structural review of the way we decide and deal with health threats, and this is the whole purpose of what we like to call a European Health Union, which is now under construction and which comprises different strands of work.”
Senior representatives from Johnson & Johnson, Vodafone, Randstad and Philips then shared their unique perspectives on the role that businesses can play in realising a healthier and more inclusive Europe. Central to discussions was the importance of collaboration between the EU and national authorities.
Further conversations focused on Europe’s Beat Cancer Plan. In light of rising cancer rates across Europe, Sara Cerdas, Member of the European Parliament (S&D, Portugal) and Well-being Ambassador for Healthy Europe, expressed hope that the initiative would provide a framework for renewed inter-governmental cooperation in the health sector. She said, “The key focus of inter-governmental action to tackle cancer should be in tailoring policy to different populations. This means involving patients and communities in order to better understand how to adjust broader frameworks, such as the EU Beating Cancer Plan, to specific population needs and circumstances, especially when it comes to accessibility – and equal accessibility – to cancer care across the European Union.”
The hybrid event hosted by Healthy Europe, which was held at the Residence Palace in Brussels and broadcast online, aimed to promote cross-sectoral collaboration towards a sustainable, healthy and socially inclusive recovery across Europe. With the support of its corporate knowledge partners, the coalition will again be publishing a new series of Policy Papers containing key insights on Health and Well-being later this year.
About All Policies for a Healthy Europe
Created in 2018 under the guidance of Johnson & Johnson as a co-founding member, All Policies for a Healthy Europe is a cross-sectoral coalition of NGOs, think-tanks, trade associations and businesses. We advocate for health and wellbeing to be put at the heart of European policymaking. The diverse mix of multisectoral stakeholders brings a unique perspective to the health and wellbeing debate, pushing for increased awareness of the broader economic and social dimension to health issues.