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1 scenario out of 3 promises adequate response to improve people’s health and well-being

EU4Health reaction to European Commission Reflection Paper: Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030

As part of the debate on the future of Europe, the Commission published a Reflection Paper in January 2019: Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030.

Although welcomed by members of the EU4Health campaign, they claimed that this political debate is three and a half years overdue: instead of currently being in the reflection phase, they should be in the process of discussing concrete implementation plan with a timeline, measurable goals and targets, appropriate governance structure, effective policy measures and an accountable and robust monitoring scheme and adequate financing. the Reflection Paper mentions prevention policies only in passing and fails to realise the full extent of synergies and co-benefits that can be achieved within the proposed “cross-cutting policy agenda”.

Achieving social justice and reducing health inequalities go hand-in-hand; pricing incentives and fiscal policies can also be effectively used to improve health through the reduction of preventable diseases, while increasing revenues that could be made available for healthcare services. As long as these and other health synergies are not an integral part of the debate, the EU’s agenda will fall short of fully achieving the aspirations of the United Nations’ SDGs.

To attain most of the SDG and targets, in particular those related to: reducing inequalities, elimination of poverty, gender equality, it is crucial to ensure the future sustainability of health systems. Therefore, health must be regarded as a cross cutting dimension of the 2013 Agenda, should be addressed as such and should not remain implicit but be a fully-fledged part of the EU’s response to meeting the SDGs.

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