WHO European Region advances health on political and social agendas: Health 2020 progress report

Copenhagen, 15 September 2014

The WHO Regional Office for Europe’s first report on progress in implementing the European health policy framework, Health 2020 demonstrates advances in health and health policy throughout the WHO European Region. Prepared for the 64th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe, the report highlights accomplishments including:

  • WHO collaboration with more than 30 countries on several aspects of implementation, including the development of national health strategies consistent with Health 2020 vision and principles;
  • the commitment of city mayors and regional authorities to the implementation of the Health 2020 vision through the European Healthy Cities Network and the Regions for Health Network;
  • the organization of intercountry policy dialogues in different parts of the European Region to enable the exchange of good practices and lessons learned;
  • greater emphasis placed by national and subnational policies on reducing health inequalities and increasing social cohesion and inclusion, so that all people have a fair chance for health;
  • the establishment of committees to improve governance for health and ensure health is a topic that reaches across sectors and engages civil society, in an increasing number of Member States;
  • increased efforts by Member States to use the Health 2020 targets and indicators for health and well-being to measure progress in implementation.

In the two years since its launch, Health 2020 has become a vital resource for Member States, helping to bolster their health policies and decrease inequities.

“The Health 2020 progress report not only reveals the accomplishments of Europe’s governments and people; it will also define our vision for years to come,” said Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe. “I am confident that the next five years will bring us closer to establishing health as an indispensible human value, critical to economic, social and sustainable development.”

During the Regional Committee session, the Regional Office will also launch new tools to support Member States in adopting and implementing the policy framework. The Health 2020 implementation package will be an online resource that includes communication tools, services and background documents to help countries take a more coherent approach to developing policies based on Health 2020.

“Health 2020 is about shifting our perception of health from a traditional image of hospitals, doctors and medicine to seeing it instead for precisely what it is: a precious public good,” said Agis Tsouros, Director of the Division of Policy and Governance for Health and Well-being at the Regional Office.

The WHO Regional Office for Europe’s website offers further information on the Health 2020 progress report, Implementing Health 2020: 2012–2014  and the 2014 Regional Committee session.

For further information, contact:

Sara Barragán Montes
WHO European Office for Investment for Health and Development
Division for Policy and Governance for Health and Well-being
WHO Regional Office for Europe
Castello 3252/3253
I-30122 Venice, Italy
Tel.: +39 041 279 3875, +39 389 824 2009 (mobile)
Email sbm@ihd.euro.who.int