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Health is absolutely and unequivocally a core business of the EU

What are we asking for?

We call on the European Commission to step up coordinated EU action to tackle cross-border health challenges.

Who is on board?

Alzheimer Europe

Association Internationale de la Mutualité (AIM)

Bulgarian Society of Patients with Pulmonary Hypertension

Cancer Focus Northern Ireland

Center for Education and Human Rights

CHEM Trust

European Alcohol Policy Alliance (Eurocare)

European Alliance of Neuromuscular Disorders Associations (EAMDA)

European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP)

European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL)

European Cancer Leagues (ECL)

European CanCer Organisation (ECCO)

European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC)

European COPD Coalition (ECC)

European Disability Forum (EDF)

European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA)

European Forum For Primary Care (EFPC)

European Federation of Families of People with Mental Illness (EUFAMI)

European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA)

European Federation of Salaried Doctors (FEMS)

European Haemophilia Consortium (EHC)

European Health Management Association (EHMA)

European Heart Network (EHN)

European Institute for Women’s Health (EIWH)

European Liver Patients’ Association (ELPA)

European Multiple Sclerosis Platform (EMSP)

European Network of Fibromyalgia Associations (ENFA)

European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP)

European Parkinson’s Disease Association (EPDA)

European Partnership for Improving Health, Equity & Wellbeing (EuroHealthNet)

European Patients Forum (EPF)

European Public Health Association (EUPHA)

European Public Health Alliance (EPHA)

European Regional and Local Health Authorities (EUREGHA)

EURORDIS Rare Diseases Europe

European Respiratory Society (ERS)

European Shiatsu Federation

European Specialist Nurses Organisations

European Umbrella Organisation for Psoriasis Movements (EUROPSO)

European Union of Private Hospitals (UEHP)

Fertility Europe

France Assos Santé

Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks-Europe (GAMIAN Europe)

Health Action International (HAI)

HTAP Belgique

HungerNdThirst Foundation

International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (IF)

Lung Cancer Europe (LuCE)

Mental Health Europe (MHE)

Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM)

Pulmonale Hypertensie (HTAP)

Retina International

Rroma Center “Amare Rromentza”

Romani CRISS

Royal College of Physicians (RCP London)

SAFE – Safe Food Advocacy Europe


SOS Hépatites Fédération

Smoke Free Partnership (SFP)

Supporting Organisations



Europeans want the EU to do more for health, according to the most recent Eurobarometer survey

European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker earlier this year presented a white paper on the future of Europe, outlining 5 scenarios. In these scenarios, the option to “do less” on some policy areas is contemplated. This could lead to less EU action on health after 2020.

The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), the European Patients’ Forum (EPF) and a coalition of organisations have teamed up to express their concerns in a letter to European Commission President, Jean Claude Juncker.

The letter ends with a request for a meeting with President Juncker, in order to explore the issues in more detail and agree a viable way forward.

Dear President Juncker, EU Health Collaboration is crucial for Europe’s future

We call for EU action on health supported by a robust EU Health Programme and the leadership of a dedicated Directorate in the European Commission. Health is absolutely and unequivocally a core business of the EU; we need more health to unlock the full potential of economic and social policies. Health protection and improvement is a great success story of the European Union.
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Health protection and improvement is a great success story of the European Union.

Why do we need EU action on health?

Unprecedented health and social challenges can only be tackled at a European level.

There has never been a stronger case, or a more vital moment for Europe to work together to protect our health. Whilst life-expectancy has improved, the years gained are often lived in relatively poorer health due to the proliferation of preventable chronic diseases, compounded by huge disparities that persist within and between member states. Average life expectancy is 12 years shorter for a man in Lithuania than in Italy.

Discrimination and inequality remains widespread when it comes to access to healthy living conditions and healthcare.

Europe is facing important health threats which must become a top priority for this Commission. We face common challenges from drug-resistant infections, spikes in chronic diseases, obesity, alcohol-related harm, infectious diseases, emerging technologies, rising prices of medicines, and inequities in access to healthcare, that can be tackled together far more effectively.

What does the EU do for your health?

Health protection and improvement is a great success story of the European Union.

Life expectancy is rising across the EU. Accession to the Union is positively correlated with health gains and longer lives. Without EU level action and support of the Health Programme, EU citizens would be more at risk from health threats.

European integration and collaboration has brought great benefits for our health and provides vital resources for our health services: free movement of health professionals, health technologies and patients. We are assured of our right to treatment in other member states, under common minimum safety and quality standards. Thanks to cross-border collaboration, highly specialised expertise will be shared across borders, thanks to the recent European Reference Networks for Highly Complex and Rare Diseases – an area not only where EU-wide strategies are effective, but also where the added value of EU action is striking.

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