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Public Health

Reflection process on EU health policy


Opening date
Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety

Target audience

Public health community

Why we are consulting

Reflection process on EU health policy
On 15 July 2004, a reflection process on EU health policy was launched. This process aimed at shaping a future EU health strategy.

Public bodies, interest groups and individual citizens were invited to contribute to the reflection process by 15 October 2004.

The reflection process generated a major debate across the EU and beyond involving countries as varied as the USA, Norway, Israel, and Switzerland. 193 contributions from national and regional authorities, NGOs, universities, individual citizens and companies have reached the Commission.


The reflection paper "Enabling good health for all " by former Commissioner Byrne outlines his view of the key principles that ought to guide the development of EU health policy over the coming years.

These include the role of good health as a driver of economic growth and the urgency of addressing health inequalities both between Member States and within them. The paper proposes a new direction for health policy: to shift from treating ill-health only to pro-actively promoting good health.

It also pinpoints the need to exploit synergies between different policies and mainstreaming health into all policy-making.

Achieving good health for all is a shared responsibility that requires co-operation between the EU, its Member States and its citizens. The EU is committed to bringing together all health players and building partnerships for health.

Further information, see:

The new EU health strategy calls for partnership with all stakeholders: National authorities, European Parliament and Council, Committee of the Regions, Economic and Social Committee, health-related agencies, other interest groups and individual citizens.

The strategy was based on a mixture of existing work by the Commission and stakeholder feedback.

Reactions from EU institutions

Public consultation (2007)

Impact assessment

Impact assessment document– EU health strategy

Summary – Impact assessment

Earlier preparatory work

2000 – A Communication on an EU health strategy called for resources to be concentrated where the can provide real added value

2002 – General health policy lines were set out by the European health commissioner

2004 - Review of EU health policy which fed into 2008-13 health strategy

Respond to the consultation

The response period for this consultation has ended. Thank you for your input.