Empower Health

People, Politics, Possibilities

12 September 2023

09:00 - 18:00 CEST

Renaissance Brussels Hotel

Livestream available

Thirty years ago the European Public Health Alliance was formed and the EU Treaty first included a specific reference to Public Health, with this Treaty entering into force only some weeks after EPHA was founded.

These last thirty years have seen some great strides in EU public health policy. Especially in tobacco control, and also in some pollution control, as well as latterly in areas of vaccine joint procurement and a coordinated pandemic response. And EPHA has built a strong track record of bringing the health concerns and issues relevant to people into EU policymaking – putting the people into Public Health.

epha conference logo

But it is also the case that much remains to be accomplished and there are policy areas where progress has been only patchy or has stagnated. Threats to Public Health now include social, economic, political and commercial determinants alongside bigger issues such as the Ukraine war, the climate change crisis and the rising trends of populist political power in direct opposition to rational evidence-based policymaking.

What could the next Thirty years hold for European Public Health and EPHA? How best can EPHA empower people, politics and possibilities in its next thirty years. Join us for a conference to discuss this with some of those that have worked in or with EPHA both past and present.


Welcome and Opening Ceremony

hans kluge

Hans Kluge

WHO Regional Director
for Europe

milka sokolovic 2023

Milka Sokolović

Director General, European Public Health Alliance

On the Shoulders of Giants

Thirty years of EPHA and public health has seen significant progress and some missteps –what have these been, and how can they inform further progress?

1786 mm london

Martin McKee

Professor of European Public Health

1786 mm london

Tamsin Rose

Facilitator and storyteller for positive change

nicoline tamsma

Nicoline Tamsma

National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), the Netherlands

caroline costongs

Caroline Costongs

Director, EuroHealthNet

josephine declaye

Joséfine Declaye

Critical care nurse and President of SIZ Nursing

People and Civil Society at the Core: from slogans to action

How do we ensure “nothing about us without us” is more than a slogan or a tick box exercise?

natasha azzopardi muscat

Natasha Azzopardi-Muscat

Director of the Division of Country Health Policies and Systems, WHO

maya mathews

Maya Matthews

Head of Unit – DG SANTE, European Commission

denis pic

Denis Onyango

Programmes Director, Africa Advocacy Foundation

nicola bedlington

Nicola Bedlington

Special Advisor, European Patients’ Forum

claudia marinetti colourr scaled

Claudia Marinetti

EPHA Treasurer and Board Member

epha 4410 linkedin

Rebecca Barlow-Noone

Communications ​Officer, European Public Health Alliance (EPHA)

Health, Human Rights, Politics and Populism

The commodification of health and a rapid growth of populism are significant threats to public health. What are the scale of such threats, and how can the be countered to secure our rights (to health)?

batool al wahdani

Batool Alwahdani

 Board Member of the International Youth Health Organisation (YHO)

anja fortuna

Peggy Maguire

Director General, European Institute of Women’s Health (EIWH)

michele levoy

Michele LeVoy

Director, Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM)

jonathan kennedy

Jonathan Kennedy

Reader in Politics and Global Health in the Centre for Public Health and Policy, Queen Mary University of London


Noemi Ricci

Communications Trainee, European Public Health Alliance (EPHA)

Determinants of health – are we determined enough?

Is the Public Health community being sufficiently assertive or confrontational to challenge the structures of the Determinants of Health?

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Michael Marmot

Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London

monika kosinska

Monika Kosinska

Head of Economic and Commercial Determinants, WHO


Florence Berteletti

Secretary General, European Alcohol Policy Alliance (Eurocare)

genon jensen

Génon Jensen

Founder and Executive Director, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)

From Evidence to Advocacy and Policy Change

How best can all those engaged in policy harness the tools of evidence and science, as well as engage advocates, civil society, and people in partnerships in support of this?

charlotte marchandise

Charlotte Marchandise

Independent, former deputy Mayor of Rennes

nick sheron

Nick Sheron

UK Department of Health Advisor, Visiting Professor of Hepatology at KCL

freek 1

Freek Spinnewijn

Director, European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless (FEANTSA)

sheila gilheany

Sheila Gilheany

Chief Executive Officer, Alcohol Action Ireland

vicky hobart

Vicky Hobart

GLA Group Director of Public Health and Deputy Statutory Health Adviser

Future Vision – audience debate on Empower Health lessons

Facilitated by the session chairs, we will conduct an audience debate on lessons learned from the ‘Empower Health’ conference, beginning with a future vision by Stella Kyriakides.

signature of a contract between the european commission and cure

Stella Kyriakides

European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety

Closing Remarks and Reception

tedros adhanom ghebreyesus

Tedros Ghebreyesus

WHO Director General

oxana dementi

Oxana Domenti

WHO Representative
to the EU


Alice Chapman-Hatchett

President, European Public Health Alliance (EPHA)

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