34th plenary meeting of the South-eastern Europe Health Network held in Skopje

Ministry of Health, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia/Daniel Popadinovski

From left: Dr Lucianne Licari, WHO/Europe, and Dr Goran Cerkez, Chair of the SEEHN Executive Committee took part in discussions at the 34th SEEHN plenary meeting in November 2014.

The Macedonian Presidency of the South-eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN) organized and hosted the network’s 34th Plenary Meeting in Skopje, Macedonia, on 19-20 November 2014.

National health coordinators of SEEHN Member States and partner organizations, and directors of the SEEHN Regional Health Development Centres (RHDC) attended the meeting.

On the agenda

Participants discussed the SEEHN key strategic areas of work for 2014-2020, including the implementation of the SEE 2020 Strategy, Jobs and prosperity in a European Perspective; and how to integrate the WHO European Policy Framework Health 2020 into SEEHN policies and developments.

The meeting also provided an opportunity to reflect upon the activities and challenges during the Macedonian Presidency of the network from July to December 2014.

Specific issues discussed included:

  • The future long-term health strategy of the SEEHN, based on the objectives, measures and health indicators that are part of the inclusive growth pillar of the SEE 2020 Growth Strategy.
  • How the network can contribute to achieving the objectives of the European Policy for Health and Well-being, Health 2020, and the European Action Plan on Strengthening Public Health Capacities and Services.
  • The recognition of health as a contributor to growth, economic development and employment under the Regional Cooperation Process, that will bring new opportunities for the SEEHN Member States to improve further the health of their populations and to deal with the social determinants of health and inequities in the region;
  • Initiating a policy dialogue to provide an overview of regional efforts and cooperation towards enhancing inter-sectorial governance for health and achieving inclusive growth etc.
  • Preparing for the 4th SEEHN Ministerial Forum

In addition, network members discussed preparations for the 4th Ministerial Forum in 2016, as well as establishing the SEEHN Secretariat.

New SEEHN website

During the meeting the new SEEHN website developed as part of the WHO project, Developing and sustaining the institutional capacities for regional cooperation in public health in South-eastern Europe (SEEHN), developed thanks to funding by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), was presented and launched. The site was developed by the Center for Regional Policy Research and Cooperation Studiorum (CRPRC Studiorum).

Building SEEHN partnerships

SEEHN´s partnerships in public health were further expanded and consolidated at the meeting, through  the signing of three memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with the SEE Network on Workers’ Health, the UN European Centre for Peace and Development and the European Union Joint Action for Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting.

The Regional Health Development Centres (RHDC) also presented their work over the past six months. 

Serbia will hold the SEEHN Presidency from 1 January to 30 June 2015.