EU health strategy


The Commission proposal for the EU Health programme 2007-2013 aligns future health action with the overall EU objectives of prosperity, solidarity and security and aims to further exploit synergies with other policies.

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The Commission launched a reflection process, in July 2004, inviting stakeholders to express their visions of a future EU health strategy. A paper by the Health Commissioner, entitled "Enabling Good Health for all - A reflection process for a new EU Health Strategy", and a complementary non-paper by the DG Health and Consumer Protection, entitled "Partnerships for Health in Europe", served as a basis for the consultation, the outcome of which was meant to help shape the future EU health strategy to be developed by the Commission. 

In their contributions, stakeholders called for better co-ordination between public health and other policy areas, the need for more comparable data on the impact of investments in health and further debate on healthcare. 

On 6 April 2005, the Commission adopted a strategy and a proposal for the Community Programme for Health and Consumer Protection 2007-2013. It brings together and extends the current EU Public Health Programme and the current programme in support of EU consumer policy. As public health and consumer protection policies share many objectives (e.g. promoting health protection, safety, information and education) the Commission aimed, in combining the two programmes, to exploit synergies between health and consumer policies. It also wished that bringing the two policies together would generate greater policy coherence, economies of scale, increased visibility and streamlining of procedures.

The idea of merging the health and consumer programmes met with a cautious welcome from both health and consumer stakeholders and the Parliament. The Conference of Presidents of the EP decided, in June 2005, to split the programme and assign it to both the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) and the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) for the drawing up of two separate reports. 

The Commission presented two separate, amended proposals in May 2006 (see health reportconsumer report).