Objectives and expected outcome


WHO, Member States and a range of international partners endorsed the Tallinn Charter at the WHO European Ministerial Conference “Health Systems, Health and Wealth” in 2008. Since then, the Charter has served as an important point of reference for WHO/Europe and Member States to invest in health systems and to monitor health system performance to improve transparency and accountability.

The Charter and its underlying values remain relevant today. Organized under the direction of the Division of Health Systems and Public Health at WHO/Europe and with the support of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, this high-level meeting will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Charter. It will provide an occasion to reaffirm the values embedded within the Charter and to build upon the opportunities that have since emerged, including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the renewed commitment towards universal health coverage.


The high-level meeting will target senior decision-makers, representatives of international bodies working in health systems and civil society. Its objectives are to:

  1. celebrate the Tallinn Charter and its achievements on its 10th birthday;
  2. reflect on progress in health systems strengthening in the WHO European Region; and
  3. outline potential future directions for health systems in Europe.

The meeting will also provide an opportunity to share innovations and recent examples of good practices from across the Region on ways to strengthen health systems.


In line with the Sustainable Development Goals and Health 2020, the meeting will ensure a strong focus on equity and on the importance of health systems serving everyone.

It is organized around 3 overarching themes, each of which carries its own key message:

  • include – improving health coverage, access and financial protection for everyone;
  • invest – making the case for investing in health systems; and
  • innovate – harnessing innovations and systems to meet people’s needs.

The final session of the meeting will focus on the future of health systems in Europe.

Expected outcome

In support of WHO’s goal to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, the high-level technical meeting will position European health system-strengthening activities in the global context of the sustainable development and universal health coverage agendas.

With an emphasis on promoting equity and ensuring that our health systems work for everyone, the meeting will showcase ways to promote financial protection and advance universal health coverage; advocate for strengthened dialogue among decision-makers on public investment in health systems; and consider how health system innovations can be harnessed to better meet people’s needs.

The meeting will offer a mix of expert perspectives and country experience, and will detail the transformative change required to put the 3 themes of the programme – include, invest and innovate – into practice.

The meeting will also highlight the need for better foresight and planning to support informed decision-making for health systems. It is crucial that our systems are not passive in the face of changing economic, political, social and health realities, but are instead able to prepare for and adapt to the future.

The outcomes from the meeting will be presented at the 68th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe in September 2018.