EuroHealthNet has held one of its most successful events this week in Brussels. During three days of debates, workshops and General Council sessions at its Annual Meeting in Brussels, we have made progress towards new approaches linking health equity and sustainability. Highlights have included:

  • Powerful contributions from senior-level policy makers and European Commission Officials on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which can be a springboard for new actions for wellbeing, health, social inclusion and the environment. Inspiring views were expressed particularly by Mr Karl-Friedrich Falkenberg, Senior Advisor to President Juncker on sustainable development; by Dr Claudia Stein, Health Information Director for WHO Europe; and Mr Thomas Dominique, Chair of the EU Social Protection Committee;
  • Important practical initiatives from Spain, Sweden and Wales, including a legal Act on the wellbeing of future generations, and showing how health promoting methods can be an integral part of innovative approaches for sustainable development;
  • Commitments by EuroHealthNet member agencies on how they will contribute evidence and knowledge towards priorities for the current EC consultation on a possible EU Pillar of Social Rights;
  • Release of the 2015/2016 Annual Report “Championing a healthier and fairer Europe” listing EuroHealthNet’s achievements in the area of policy and project development, capacity building, study visits, in-country events and strategic exchanges.
  • Development of a ‘toolbox’ of materials to be launched during the year to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, including a major policy statement on health promoting approaches towards Agenda 2030 for the WHO 9th Global health promotion conference in Shanghai.
  • Election of all available seats for the EuroHealthNet Executive Board, including new senior representatives from national health Institutes in Poland, Portugal and Luxembourg.

EuroHealthNet’s Managing Director Caroline Costongs was delighted to receive enthusiastic feedback from participants, she said: “The Sustainable Development Goals have created a momentum for coherent policy making and for a transformation of approaches which was felt during the debates. Health is an enabler for social and economic participation and is strongly linked to sustainable environments. Together with our member and partner agencies, we are committed more than ever to work beyond traditional policy silos and towards healthier and fairer societies”

The report of the conference is available here.

Below is a list of presentations made during the conference.

  • Dr Claudia Stein, WHO Europe, Director on Information and Innovation – Presentation
  • Ms Elena Andradas, Director General, Ministry of Health in Spain – Presentation
  • Ms Cathy Weatherup, Head of Health Inequalities and International Health, Welsh Government – Presentation
  • Mr Jonas Frykman, Senior Advisor, Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions – Presentation
  • Ms Elisabeth Rahmberg, Public Health Director, Region Västra Götaland, Sweden – Presentation

Please read EuroHealthNet’s Annual Report 2015-2016 here.