European public health action plan: Consultation generates important feedback


International organizations and more than 35 countries made recommendations on revising both the structure and content of the draft European Action Plan for Strengthening Public Health Capacities and Services.

The recommendations were made during a consultation held on 12–13 March 2012 in Brussels, Belgium, organized by WHO/Europe and EuroHealthNet. The European Commission – represented by the directorates-general for Health and Consumers; Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion; Regional Policy; Development and Cooperation; and Research and Innovation – described how the Commission’s policy instruments and tools could help strengthen capacities for public health across Europe.

José Martin-Moreno, Director, Programme Management at WHO/Europe, said: “The high level of participation is a testimony to the timeliness of this Action Plan. We are particularly grateful to the many colleagues from the European Commission who came to lend their support.” Reflecting on the support provided by EuroHealthNet, he added: “We are tremendously indebted to EuroHealthNet for having mobilized such a broad spectrum of actors and helping us gather such valuable feedback on the Action Plan.”

David Pattison, President of EuroHealthNet, said: “We are happy that EuroHealthNet could play such a constructive role in contributing to an action plan that could potentially articulate the state of the art in public health and help all countries in the Region make progress in this direction.”

Hans Kluge, Director of the Division of Health Systems and Public Health at WHO/Europe, said: “While there is clearly a high level of enthusiasm surrounding the Action Plan, it is also clear that we need to continue working on the draft to ensure that it sets a clear direction for the years to come, and provides added value to all of our countries.

The final draft of the European Action Plan for Strengthening Public Health Capacities and Services will be submitted to the sixty-second session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe in September 2012.