European Commission visit consolidates future work with WHO/Europe

WHO

Dr Andrzej Rys, Director, Public Health and Risk Assessment, Directorate General for Health and Consumers, European Commission, and Ms Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe

Dr Andrzej Rys, Director, Public Health and Risk Assessment, Directorate-General for Health and Consumers, European Commission (EC), met with Ms Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, last week, to plan activities for the priority areas of shared interest agreed in March 2011.The Regional Director invited Dr Rys to WHO/Europe to present in more detail WHO/Europe’s new structure, priorities and activities. Changes in the EC were also introduced.

In addition, the meeting provided an opportunity for the two partners to discuss:

  • the implementation of the European Commission and WHO Regional Office for Europe Joint Declaration signed in September 2010, and roadmaps for further action agreed in March 2011;
  • enhanced strategic communication between the EC and WHO, particularly during disease outbreaks such as the recent one in Germany; and
  • collaboration on Health 2020, the European policy for health and well-being, and the European Union’s health strategy.

Further, there was a briefing on upcoming events such as the United Nations high-level meeting on noncommunicable diseases, in the United States of America in September 2011, and the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health in, Brazil in October 2011.

In March, senior EU and WHO officials agreed on roadmaps for strategic cooperation in six key areas: health security, health innovation, health systems, health information, health inequalities and country collaboration.