Policy and Actions
Demographic change and globalisation are having profound and complex effects on the organisation and delivery of health and add challenges and new dimensions to public health policy development. We all are aware of the pressures on healthcare services, citizens are alarmed about their health and competent authorities are looking for cost/effective ways to promote better health and to prevent diseases as an answer to the pressure on the care services. The importance of local and regional authorities is central, as they represent the natural interface between citizens, national and European institutions. Consequently, EUREGHA´s mission is to help improve the efficiency and quality of health systems and services in Europe.
But understanding the specific context of a particular health system is paramount to achieving the seamless integration of the solutions into standard practice. A "one-size fits all" approach will not succeed. Therefore, EUREGHA’s mission is also to clarify regional and local priorities in health within the wider context of the European arena with its vast amount of strategies and initiatives.
Benchmarking, comparisons, sharing and learning are EUREGHA’s most prominent methods. That is why EUREGHA call to all European Regional and Local Authorities to:
- Understand and compare their regional/local health systems;
- Identify the larger topics into the EU context;
- Identify the regional and local added value to contribute to these topics;
- Identify the added value, interest for the subnational level in the topic.
To do so, EUREGHA has compiled all health topics at EU level, taking into DG SANTE and WHO European Region classification. It will be interesting to know the level of priority for each one, while taking into account the kind of competence of the regional/local health authority within the broader context of their regional/local health system.
EUREGHA as the Secretariat of the CoR Interregional Group on Health and Wellbeing (IRGHW)
In recent years, members of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) have agreed on several opinions on health matters, illustrating both the increasing significance of health policy at the EU level and, crucially, that regional and local authorities have a vital role to play in providing health services to citizens.
In many cases across Europe, the responsibility to deliver many policy areas affecting health, alongside the actual competencies for public health and healthcare provision, often lies with the local and regional authorities. Therefore, given that the key factors determining health outcomes extend across numerous policy areas; that such policy areas are often part of the competencies of local and regional authorities; and with an acknowledgement of the influence of EU policy across multiple sectors, there is a strong case for action for the CoR interregional group on health.
With this in mind, the CoR interregional group on health was established in December 2010 to enable all members and alternate members of the CoR, not just the members of the NAT Commission, to debate openly and share viewpoints on EU policy issues related to public health. The interregional group also seeks to enhance the dialogue with other EU institutions without impinging upon the remit of the NAT Commission itself.
The Interregional Group aims to become a forum that can facilitate the exchange of knowledge and good practice, and support the regional political input into reducing widespread disparities in health. The interregional group meets 4-5 times per year in the environs of the CoR Plenary.
The inaugural meeting was held on 1 April 2011. It elected UK Labour member Cllr Dave Wilcox as chair, who was the CoR's rapporteur on reducing inequalities in healthcare in 2010, and along with Danish member Karsten Uno Petersen, CoR rapporteur on cross-border healthcare, was the driving force behind the decision to create the new health intergroup.
The group discusses strategically important areas for action, linked with the knowledge of the social determinants of health and the significance of other sectors for influencing health outcomes, based on identifying activities and actors who can make a difference at the regional level across Europe. The Interregional Group on Health endeavours to discuss issues of common and strategic concern in line with the aims and objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy.
If you would like to learn more about the interregional group,
COOPERATION WITH NATIONAL PERMANENT REPRESENTATIONS:EUREGHA organises meetings in collaboration with National Permanent Representations on the health priorities of the EU Presidencies.
COOPERATION WITH DG SANTE, DG REGIO, DG RESEARCH, DG EMPLOYMENT AND DG CONNECT: EUREGHA organises meetings with EC officials, attends high level conferences, takes part in EU stakeholders´ fora (as the EU Health Policy Platform) and explores funding opportunities to develop project proposals.
BENCHMARKING AND COLLABORATION WITH OTHER NETWORKS: in order to avoid duplicities and to strength the role of EUREGHA in the EU health stakeholder environment, EUREGHA looks for opportunities to establish partnerships with other networks across different policy areas.
EU PLATFORMS: in 2017, EUREGHA will look into the possibility of leading a Thematic Network on the EU Health Policy Platform.
MONITOR ALL HEALTH RELATED POLICY ISSUES: in order to deliver early intelligence to full members, EUREGHA monitors all health related EU policy issues such as in the areas of employment, health, social affairs, research, agriculture, environment, education and cross-cutting initiatives.
If you would like to learn more about our past, current and future activities,