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Public Health

Health-EU newsletter 230 - Focus

The Health Policy Platform provides a place to meet, communicate and create synergies!

Carina Dantas, Innovation Director at Cáritas Coimbra, explains why her organisation is an active member of the EU Health Policy Platform and hosted one of the platform's previous cycle of thematic networks, Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments (SHAFE), which has now been transformed into a stakeholder network. Cáritas Coimbra is a social non-profit organisation that supports people and communities in five districts of the Central Region of Portugal. It has nearly 90 centres (with 151 different services), 1000 workers and 150 volunteers and supports around 26,500 people a year through social health, educational and other types of activities.

How has Cáritas Coimbra made use of the EU Health Policy Platform?

We've been a member for a few years, first taking part as a group coordinator for the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing. As platform members, we receive the bi-weekly platform newsletter, which is where I saw the call for thematic networks. We proposed SHAFE, and it received the largest number of platform member votes and is in line with the European Commission's priorities, so we were selected.

For Caritas, it was really interesting to join the platform as a regional organisation. Through the platform, we have taken on other roles at both national and international level. We are also hosting the platform’s first national Thematic Network– the Portuguese Network on SHAFE - which will be highly empowered through the Health Policy Platform.

Many local and regional groups are not so connected to international stakeholders, and the platform provides a place for them to meet and to create synergies.

What does it mean to host a thematic network on the platform?

It's a one-stop shop. The platform is a secure data storage facility, an event planner and a publicity agent all rolled into one. We can publish documents through the platform, host events and store, access and disseminate information. We can network with others and see what other stakeholders, even in other fields, are doing. The SHAFE network has more than 100 members, and we can use the platform to communicate with one another.

You've hosted two webinars through the platform. Were they successful?

Yes, we hosted webinars in June and in October 2018. In the webinars we had around 50 people present but since they are recorded and streamed by the Commission, they can be seen by a much larger audience. The webinar in June was already seen by nearly 300 people. The webinars give people the opportunity to put faces to names, for our organisation but also for the Commission and other participants. And it is really useful for clear dialogue, as emails – we all know – can sometimes be misinterpreted!

Do you think your participation on the platform helps achieve your goal of improving the lives of people as they age?

Of course, we want to be a driver of positive change in our communities. We don't want to make just pretty policy documents – we want them to have practical application. But making cities and towns more age-friendly isn't just a question of goodwill or a matter of knowing good practices. We know what to do and why it should be done, but political and financial decisions must be taken to make it possible.

Are policy makers also part of the Health Policy Platform?

Yes, that's the beauty of it. We're a network, and we communicate.

Activities at EU level

EU Health Policy Platform

European Commission – Health and Food Safety


Register in the EU Health Policy Platform to have access to all the news in this focus section

As well as to have full access to the latest EU health policy news posted in the Agora network on upcoming events, webinars, public consultations and much more. It’s easy to register, but if you have any questions, just contact

Kick-off meeting 2019 thematic networks held in Brussels

Four new thematic networks will work together with stakeholders to prepare the 2019 Joint Statements on integrated care, access and cross border healthcare and organ transplantation. Read more about them in the ‘other interesting links’ section of this newsletter.

Closure of the 2018 Thematic Networks cycle: thematic networks transforming into stakeholder networks

The lessons learned gathered during the closing webinar and the presentations shown are available in Agora network. Request access to join the discussion in their new stakeholder networks.

Webinar on “Health Promotion and Primary Prevention in 21 European Countries” to take place on 15 March 2019

The 09.30 CET webinar will present a ‘Comparative Overview of Key Policies, Approaches, Examples of Good Practice, and Gaps and Needs. A report prepared by the CHRODIS PLUS joint action’. Access code: 847 015 041. Password: webinar2019.

Missed the EU Health Policy Platform annual meeting? See what you missed!

Watch the 12 November 2018 meeting online.

Health Policy Platform webinar recordings available in the Agora network library

Some webinars held on the Platform were open to the public and can be accessed by registered Platform users. Catch up on a variety of subjects from ageing to nutrition!

Follow the EU Health Policy Platform and use #EUHPP hashtag on Twitter!

Find and follow the Health Policy Platform on Facebook!

Other interesting links

No body left outside Platform (NLO)

NLO is one of the 2019 Thematic Networks and brings together a wide range of stakeholders to identify common challenges and serve as an incubator for practical guidance and innovative solutions to improve access to integrated health and social services.

Improving INtegrated people-centered Solutions Health Care Solutions (INCASO)

One of the 2019 Thematic Networks, INCASO aims to put the needs of people and communities at the centre of health systems and to create synergies with existing European networks and partnerships, among other things.

European Kidney Health Alliance (EKHA)

This stakeholder alliance, one of the 2019 Thematic Networks, wants to ensure that effective prevention and appropriate and affordable treatment for Chronic Kidney Disease are available to all Europeans equally.

European Regional and Local Health Authorities (EUREGHA)

A 2019 Thematic Network, EUREGHA bring together a critical mass of knowledge and expertise and encourages diversity, helping its members to improve the efficiency and quality of health systems and services in Europe.

Stimulating fresh fruit and vegetable consumption for healthier European consumers

Born as a 2018 Thematic Network, this network is for sharing information, knowledge and best practices on the benefits of fresh fruit and vegetable consumption.

Societal Impact of Pain

The Societal Impact of Pain continue their work on their stakeholder network that aims to provide a roadmap for improving pain management, among other things.

Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments (SHAFE)

SHAFE, one of 2018’s three Thematic Networks, aims to develop the main aspects of Age-Friendly Environments Places and People in the creation of eHealth and mHealth solutions.