29 December 2010

Health 2020 - new World Health Organization Europe Initiative

International experts in public health met on 14 October 2010 to map out the broad goals and targets of the new European health policy, HEALTH2020, at a meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Discussion focused on four key questions.
  • What is today’s context for health policy in a fast-changing Europe?
  • What is the scope of the policy, including its target audiences and main products?
  • What values, guiding principles and evidence base should support HEALTH2020?
  • What process should be used to develop the policy, which includes involving partners and identifying key milestones?

The policy is being developed to accelerate progress towards achieving the European Region’s health potential by 2020 by addressing key public health and health policy challenges. WHO/Europe seeks to engage and consult with a diverse range of stakeholders to ensure that a spectrum of views informs the development of the policy and can sustain it in the longer term.



A draft policy framework is expected to be presented at the next meeting of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe in 2011, and finalized in 2012.

Health 2020 aims to confirm the underlying values and principles, and provide for an integrated and consistent framework to address the recent challenges to health and health equity in Europe.

A new study on health inequalities in Europe will provide a basis for this health policy. This study will analyze the social determinants of health, in particular as they affect the health divide in Europe, as well as the social gradient in societies, vulnerable population groups, gender and the impact of all these aspects on health policies and actions by governments. It will also address all the other determinants of health, such as lifestyles, the environment and climate change, and food safety.


see WHO Europe news item

see Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe's speech and presentation on Health 2020 at the World Health Summit

Courtesy of the European Public Health Alliance