European mayors to champion Health 2020

Mayors and local-government representatives from 95 European cities have committed to being proactive partners in the development of Health 2020, the European policy for health and well-being.

“This new common health policy framework creates an exciting platform on which to increase the influence of the public health community. This is our time! To this end, we commit ourselves to be proactive partners in the development and consultation process, to be a testing ground for new ideas, to be a source of local knowledge and case studies and to actively advocate our common health vision and goals,” said Georges Pire, Political Head for Health of the Province of Liège, Belgium.

Mr Pire signed the Liège statement on Health 2020 on behalf of political leaders from 95 European cities gathered at the annual business and technical meeting of the WHO Healthy Cities Network, held in Liège on 15–18 June 2011. Over 300 participants from 30 European countries took part in the first local-government consultation on Health 2020.

“We are very pleased to get this strong endorsement for our new policy process,” said Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe. “For over 20 years, Healthy Cities has served as a living laboratory for the development of innovative approaches to improving the health and well-being of city populations. The active involvement of Network cities in the design and development of Health 2020 will help ensure that its recommendations and targets are practical, relevant and implementable.”