BRUSSELS, (October 16)
In a bid to unlock Europe’s economic and social potential, ‘All Policies for a Healthy Europe’ – a coalition of influential non-governmental and not-for-profit organisations, think-tanks, trade associations and individual companies — today called on the European Union to take concrete actions to make health and well-being a top priority.
Launching its ‘Economy of Well-being & EU Economic Governance’ paper at a multi-institutional event in Brussels attended by key figures from the OECD, European Commission, the World Health Organisation (WHO and ECB, the coalition urged Europe’s politicians to make citizens’ health and well-being a strategic objective at the centre of EU priorities for the next 5 years, to create “a new and stronger economic model”.
The launch event was also attended by the current rotating Finnish EU Presidency, and by representatives from the governments of Croatia and Germany, who hold the next two upcoming Presidencies in 2020.
“Too often the European Union can seem remote. But the reality is that decisions made in Brussels affect us every day, impacting our jobs, our families, our journeys to work and school, our security, our consumer choices and our social rights. To survive the choppy waters of nationalist populism and to come out the other side stronger, the EU must put the relevance of the day-to-day lives of its electorate front and centre,” Marian Harkin, Chair of All Policies for a Healthy Europe said.
A renewed focus on Health and Well-being as core priorities of the new Commission, Parliament, and Council Presidencies can be a key driver in bringing Brussels closer to its regions, cities, towns, villages and ultimately its citizens.” the former MEP added.
The paper recommends that the new European institutions should “strengthen the well-being focus of EU economic governance arrangements – in particular the European Semester”.
Five key messages are emphasised:
- Well-being must be at the centre of EU priorities for the next 5 years: The EU should set measurable well-being targets, recognising that health and well-being are inextricably To that end, the new European Commission should also adopt a coherent definition of well- being, in line with the OECD’s Wellbeing Framework.
- Policy action on well-being requires inter-sectoral collaboration within a ‘whole of government’ approach: The new Commission should ensure joined-up policy-making across sectors, with a strong coordinating role at the A strong focus on inequalities in well- being outcomes is also essential.
- Integrate environment into ‘The Economy of Well-being’: Human and environmental well- being are Environmental concerns should be fundamental to EU policy action on well-being, and therefore included in ‘The Economy of Well-being’ approach.
- Enhance implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR): Stronger EPSR implementation mechanisms are needed within the European Proposals include: i) a ‘Social Imbalances Procedure’; and ii) minimum standards for social protection.
- Strengthen governance for health aspects of the European Semester: Health is a major focus of the European Semester, but governance arrangements are Health ministries should play a more active (and formal) role, and wider health stakeholders should be consulted.
The creation of the paper follows a Eurobarometer survey in which over 70% of citizens called for greater action at EU level in the area of health and well-being.
As a result, AP4HE ultimately calls for a cross-sectoral approach to health and well-being that takes all of their multi-dimensional determinants into account, including economic, social, environmental, commercial and political influences.