WHO/Europe and EuroHealthNet agree to collaborate on addressing health inequalities and promoting sustainable development – General Council Meeting 2021

8 June, 2021
Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge & Dr Mojca Gabrijelčič sign MoU

WHO’s Regional Office for Europe and EuroHealthNet have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishing a legal basis for collaboration on health promotion, health equity, investments for health, sustainable development and prosperity for people and planet.

The agreement was signed during EuroHealthNet’s General Executive Board meeting by WHO’s Regional Director for Europe, Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge and EuroHealthNet President, Dr Mojca Gabrijelčič at EuroHealthNet’s 2021 General Council Meeting.

“Together we will develop intelligence and solutions for healthy lives for all, and work towards the Sustainable Development Goals. This will be a welcome boost for the organisations that make up the EuroHealthNet partnership: public health institutes and authorities, regional and local health agencies, and research and practice organisations. We look forward to providing useful inputs to the WHO/ Euro programme of work in the coming five years and to capitalise on EuroHealthNet’s work with European Union institutions” – Dr Mojca Gabrijelčič

“Partnerships are at the centre of the European Programme of Work 2020–2025 (EPW) – ‘United Action for Better Health in Europe’, which serves as a compass for WHO/Europe and its 53 Member States. The programme sets out a vision of how we can meet citizens expectations about health. It is also perfectly aligned with EuroHealthNet’s overall goal, to ensure that health promotion, preventative approaches and tackling health inequalities are put into policy and practice” – Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge

This partnership forms another collaboration between WHO/Europe and partner organizations working to strengthen health across the Region, as outlined in the European Programme of Work 2020-2025, “United Action for Better Health” (EPW).

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted inequities within and across societies around the world. Concerns remain that without coordinated action, these inequities could impact the health of individuals and societies longer-term.

A new EuroHealthNet Executive Board was elected at the General Council Meeting, which will take forward the new MoU with WHO/Europe as well as a newly adopted Strategic Development Plan (2021-2026).

Newly elected to oversee EuroHealthNet’s activities are:

  • Dr Daniela Kallayova, Senior Public Health Officer, Ministerstvo zdravotníctva Slovenskej republiky/ Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Dietrich, Acting Director, Federal Centre for Health Education / Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung/BZgA – (Germany)
  • Raffaella Bucciardini, Director of the Unit Health Equity ISS – HEISS, Istituto Superiore di Sanità/ Institute of Health (Italy)
  • Dr Sumina Azam, Consultant in Public Health, Policy Lead, Deputy Director – Policy and International Health, WHO Collaborating Centre on Investment for Health and Wellbeing, Public Health Wales (United Kingdom)

Two Board members were re-elected as their mandates had expired: Prof. Plamen Dimitrov, Deputy Director, National Centre of Public Health and Analyses, Bulgaria and Lorna Renwick Organisational Lead, NHS Leadership, Health Equity, Public Health Scotland.

Dr. Mojca Gabrijelčič Blenkuš Head of the Centre for Analyses and Development of Health, National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), Slovenia remains as president, Vertti Kiukas Secretary General, SOSTE Finnish Federation for Social Affairs and Health, Finland remains Vice President and Giovanni Gorgoni CEO, Regional Healthcare and Social Affairs Agency of Puglia, Italy remains Treasurer.

The General Council also approved EuroHealthNet’s annual report 2020-2021, ‘Building health promoting systems fit for the future’. The report looks at 12 months of work towards building sustainable, equitable, community-based, and health-promoting systems, as well as monitoring the wider long-term and unequal effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report can be found at eurohealthnet.eu/annual-report-2020-21.

The Strategic Development Plan (2021-2026), also approved at the meeting, is the organisation’s plan to lead and act on health equity, the social, economic, environmental, commercial, behavioural, and political determinants of health, and novel ways to promote health and prevent disease.


Below is a list of presentations held during the General Council Meeting 2021.

1 – Caroline Costongs – Annual Report 2020-21
2 – Caroline Costongs- Strategy Development Plan and New logo
3 – Mariken Leurs – Corona Behavior Unit – The Netherlands
4 – Nella Savolainen – Finland: Wellbeing, health and safety for all by 2030
5 – Djoeke van Dale – The added value of European collaboration for programme registers
6 – Romana Brait – Health and Care activities Under the Austrian RFF
7 – Dana-Carmen Bachmann – European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan

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