EFN signs the Manifesto for a European Health Union

EFN signs the Manifesto for a European Health Union

Posted on November 24, 2020

2020 has been a very difficult year for all of us, with COVID-19 crisis, and in particular the healthcare professionals as the nurses, being at the frontline 24/7, since the beginning of the year.  We need to be realistic; this will not be the last pandemic. Many other threats to health, as the effects of climate change, are at the corner. And one thing the current pandemic showed is the importance of coordination among European countries.

During her “State of the Union” speech, in September, the European Commission President Dr Ursula von der Leyen, expressed the need to create a stronger European Health Union, building on recent efforts by the European Commission to take action on cross border health threats. Over the years, the governments of the EU Member States, in successive Treaties, have committed to a high level of human health protection, to humanity, dignity, and solidarity, and to a sustainable future for all. They are also all committed, as members, to the Constitution of the World Health Organization. But these safeguards for health are not, on their own, sufficient. Therefore, it is crucial that the EU political leaders, meeting together in the European Council and the Conference on the Future of Europe, bring this to a next level and commit to creating a European Health Union.

Its Goals? To strive for the health and wellbeing of all Europeans, with no one left behind;  to strengthen solidarity within and among Member States, based on the principle of progressive universalism, providing support, including universal health coverage, for all, but with particular attention to the needs of those who are disadvantaged; to ensure environmental sustainability, by adopting the European Green Deal and prioritising measures to promote One Health, the concept that links our health with that of the animals and plants with which we share this planet; to provide security for all Europeans, protecting them from the major threats to health and from the vulnerability that is created by living a precarious existence; and to enable everyone’s voice to be heard, so that policies that affect their health are created with them and not for them.

Today a Manifesto has been launched, addressing three key issues: 1/ It calls on the political leaders of Europe in the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe to commit to creating a European Health Union; 2/ It invites the people of Europe to engage in building a health policy that contributes to the long-term sustainable development of the European Union; 3/ It sets out a vision of a European Health Union (with goals, policies, measures, principles) developed by the signatories of the Manifesto.

The EFN has already signed it and encourages all its members to do it also, thus strengthening the call to all Members of Parliaments and European leaders for a better EU role in health. To sign it, click here.

We cannot wait for the end of the pandemic to repair and prepare for the future. We will build the foundations of a stronger European Health Union in which 27 countries work together to detect, prepare and respond collectively”, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, at the World Health Summit (25 October 2020)