Our Policy Work

Print versionPrint version

Health in All Policies (HiAP)

Ensuring a high level of human health protection is a central part of the European Commission’s responsibilities. This is the basis for the concept of Health in All Policies (HiAP).

This has been a constant theme throughout the development of the European Union as even before the specific public health article was introduced (Article 168 of the Lisbon Treaty), health was integrated into other areas of policy such as agriculture and free movement. The Single European Act also stipulated that a high level of health protection should be taken as a basis for completing the internal market.

A great deal of progress has been made in recognising the need for cross-cutting approaches and for mainstreaming Health in All Policies (HiAP). Nevertheless, while coordination mechanisms and detailed methodologies have been developed to take the health dimension into consideration in all EU policy developments, more needs to be done to ensure all EU initiatives contribute to greater health equity between and within Member States.

Health is a key prerequisite to achieve the objectives defined in the EU 2020 strategy - Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive growth. A healthy economy depends on a healthy population. Without this, employers lose worker productivity and citizens are deprived of potential length and quality of life. This is doubly important as the EU’s capacity to deal with demographic ageing will crucially depend on its ability to keep its citizens healthy and active throughout their longer lives.

A wide range of policies can help to influence this, ranging from employment and social protection strategies to the food we eat and how much we walk rather than drive. European policies and rules shape many of these areas, and this underlines how vital it is to ensure the integration of health protection into all policies and actions.

This is not just work for the EU institutions and EuroHealthNet is therefore actively promoting this approach throughout its Research, Policy and Communications activities. In our Policy Dossier, you can find out how health and health equity relate to policy developments linked to agriculture, development, employment, environment, social agenda, research and many more!



EuroHealthNet illustrates the strong links which exist between health, poverty and social exclusion
European Quality of Life Survey 2012
See video