Celebrating the Observatory’s 20th anniversary!


Dr Jo E. Asvall (1931-2010), WHO Regional Director for Europe at the official launch of the Observatory in London on 11 February 1999.

On 22 May 1998, Dr Jo E. Asvall, then WHO Regional Director for Europe, signed an agreement on a project called The European Observatory on Health Care Systems.

The idea of establishing of a “clearing-house on health care reforms” was launched 2 years earlier at the landmark conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where WHO gathered policy-makers from the whole European Region to agree on a set of common, fundamental principles that should underlie health system reforms.

Twenty years later, the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies has become one of the leading international knowledge brokers in this field. It is based on a strong partnership of international agencies, national governments, decentralized authorities and research institutes. They are all committed to the idea of evidence-based policy-making for health.

To mark this anniversary year, the Observatory is planning a series of exciting activities with its partners and networks. Events begin with the WHO high-level meeting “Health Systems for Prosperity and Solidarity – leaving no one behind” on 13–14 June 2018 in Tallinn, Estonia, which the Observatory is actively supporting.

Keep up to date with us on Twitter @OBShealth and #OBS20.