On 22 November, the launch event of the multi-stakeholder initiative “All Policies for a Healthy Europe” (AP4HE), took place.
The event was hosted by Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Lieve Wierinck (ALDE, Belgium) and was supported by EU lawmakers, NGOs, trade associations, and private companies involved in the health sector.
The initiative calls for a new approach to health issues, acknowledging that every policy – be it on defence, migration, economic growth, labour, digitisation, education, the environment – has repercussions on human health and well-being. Policy makers are asked to recognize this power and ensure that data and governance mechanisms are in place to be used for the benefit of citizens.
A Healthy Europe Manifesto, currently under development, will examine the need and societal benefit of appointing a European Commission Vice-President for intersectoral action on health and well-being. It will also include proposals on monitoring well-being across the EU and using health and well-being impact assessments for new policies and legislation.
The strong support for a more “health-centric” approach for European policies is a good sign for Avicenna and preparing the ground for more dialogue on important health issues such as CM&S and the benefits it brings. In addition to that, signatories to the manifesto (especially MEPs) will likely present a number of interesting contacts to keep in mind for future Avicenna activities.
The initial outline for an AP4HE manifesto was open for feedback until 5 December 2018.
A more advanced draft of the manifesto based on this input will now be developed and shared with all contributing organisations and individuals in January 2019. A manifesto co-creation session will furthermore be held on 22 January 2019 to finalise the text and discuss how the key messages can be most effectively communicated
In 2017, the European Commission’s White Paper on the Future of Europe called into question the added value of EU level cooperation on health. The AP4HE initiative aims to reverse that reasoning: not only should existing EU action on health be maintained, value for citizens lies in all policy areas paying more attention to health and well-being.