EuroHealthNet delegation participates in evaluating progress of EU2020 social targets

EuroHealthNet as well as several members, Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung (BZgA - Germany), Prolepsis (Greece), and Vlaams Instituut voor Gezondheidspromotie (VIGeZ - Belgium), are attending the Fourth Annual Convention of the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion on 20-21 November 2014 in Brussels. The flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 strategy, will be hosted by President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, and the new Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, Marianne Thyssen.

When almost a quarter of the EU population, 122.6 million people, are at risk for poverty,  EU and national leaders must live up to the commitments made in the Europe 2020 Strategy to achieve the inclusive dimension. This is good for the economy as well, inequality-related losses to health amount 980 billion per year or 9.4% of GDP. Our work has shown that investment in early childhood and education is needed as well as better employment conditions, safe housing, and universal social protection systems – all of which contribute to building human capital and ensuring people are employable and able to `bounce back` from the crisis,” says  Caroline Costongs Managing Director EuroHealthNet.

The EuroHealthNet partnership, which brings together bodies working for health promotion and social equity in Europe, is working to stimulate new approaches in states to tackling economic, social and environmental factors identified within the EU strategic plans and targets.

This year the Convention will focus on progress in reform in the social field at EU and Member State level. “EuroHealthNet’s analysis shows all EU states now include some aspect of health systems in their annual national reform programmes (NRPs), with 20 countries seeking to act in some way on identified public health measures, determinants and inequalities”, Leonardo Palumbo Senior Coordinator for Health and Social Investment “To curb the worrying trends our partners have noted a continuing decline in proportions of investment in public health measures, deteriorating trends in health status and an increase in inequalities within and between EU states and regions – EuroHealthNet is engaging in the implementation of the Social Investment Package at national level to link  public authorities working on health and EU Institutions”.  

The Convention will discuss the results of the public consultation on the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the poverty-reduction target and the Poverty Platform.  EuroHealthNet is arguing for a strengthening of anti-poverty and environmental objectives, greater urgency and a better balance of economic and other objectives set out in the EU treaties, including a responsibility to protect health in all policies. “It suggests three cross cutting approaches to help achieve this, based on equity, wellbeing and sustainable development, all of which are more popular with citizens than austerity, and all of which address global and continental trends” adds Leonardo Palumbo.

For more information please contact Leonardo Palumbo Senior Coordinator for Health and Social Investment

For more information on the EU Platform and Social Exclusion, click here