Launch of the intersectoral initiative “All policies for Healthy Europe”

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.

Key speakers

  • Lieve Wierinck MEP (ALDE, Belgium), who hosted the meeting, said that “the health and well-being of people must be central to any model of inclusive growth and sustainable development. If Europe cares about sustainable development, it should care about health and well-being.”
  • Karen Kadenbach MEP (S&D, Austria) referenced Article 168 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and added that “EU treaties already state that peoples’ health should be ‘ensured in the definition and implementation of all Union policies and activities’. The question is why does this not happen already”.
  • Andrey Kovatchev MEP (EPP, Bulgaria) said that “health is a top priority for voters in all Member States. We cannot build Europe on short-sighted economics. Europe is about more than a common market and currency. If we are to win voters’ support, we need to show that Europe cares about the things that matter to citizens”.
  • Erika Widegren, Chief Executive of Re-Imagine Europa, welcomed the invitation to work with other collaborating organisations to build a new agenda for a citizen-centred Europe based on an inclusive and sustainable economic model.
  • Brian O’Connor, Chair of the European Connected Health Alliance, also saluted the importance of working with partners to leverage the potential of big data and artificial intelligence to support the digital transformation of health and well-being in Europe.
  • Nicola Bedlington, Secretary General of the European Patient’s Forum (EPF), said that in this critical pre-election period, we must reaffirm our determination and ambition to ensure health is a priority in the European Union. EU collaboration in health is essential to meet the crucial needs of patients’ communities throughout Europe, and make sure the patients’ voice – and what really matters to patients – is heard in EU policies.

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.

Next steps

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

Background

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.


Date: 04/12/2018 | Tag: | News: 878 of 886
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