WHO/Europe forging closer links with European Health Forum Gastein

Putting the new European health policy, Health 2020, on the agenda and expanding the geographical scope of the European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) to include the 53 countries in the WHO European Region were two of the main issues discussed at a meeting between WHO/Europe and EHFG on 10 February 2011.

Building strategic partnerships to improve policy coherence in the WHO European Region is one of WHO/Europe’s priorities. WHO/Europe has been a main partner of EHFG since it was founded in 1998, and WHO/Europe staff serve on its advisory committee.

EHFG’s President, Professor Günther Leiner, and General Secretary, Mr Matthias Schuppe, met the WHO Regional Director for Europe, Ms Zsuzsanna Jakab, to discuss how to strengthen collaboration between the two organizations. Both WHO/Europe and EHFG recognize the need for research and evidence that can be used to improve health in the Region. Further talks will take place at the meeting of the EHFG advisory committee in March.

The 14th European Health Forum Gastein will be held on 5–8 October 2011 in Bad Hofgastein, Austria.


EHFG is an annual health policy conference that brings together stakeholders in public health and health care: politicians, senior decision-makers, representatives of interest groups, and experts from government, administration, business, industry, civil society, science and academe. It focuses primarily on countries in the European Union and European Economic Area.

EHFG is organized with support from WHO/Europe and the European Commission, and other partners include the British Medical Journal and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry.