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CoR Interregional Group on Health & Wellbeing 1 December

On 1 December 2017, an update of the initiative State of Health in the EU  will be presented in the framework of the Committee of the Regions Interregional Group on Health & Wellbeing of which EUREGHA is the secreterariat. 

"State of Health in the EU" is a two-year initiative by the European Commission in cooperation with the OECD, the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, and Member States. The aim is to boost analytical capacity and support Member States with their evidence-based policy making.The State of Health in the EU cycle includes four deliverables: Health at a Glance: Europe report, prepared by the OECD, country health profiles for each Member State prepared by the OECD and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, a Commission paper to accompany the country health profiles and voluntary exchanges that Member States can request to discuss best practices and other findings from the State of Health in the EU.

For more information about the initative, please refer here.

On the Committee of the Regions Interregional Group on Health & Wellbeing meeting on the 1st of December, we will host a presentation of the country profiles by by Stan Van Alphen, DG SANTE, Lead Policy Coordinator of the State of Health in the EU cycle and head writer of its Companion Report and Willy PALM, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, Dissemination development Officer. 
This will be a unique opportunity to come and learn more about your own healthcare system and how it compares with the 27 others we have in the EU!

At this occasion, also the CoR report on the role of local and regional authorities in the management of health systems in the EU will be launched.

The meeting will take place on Friday 1 December at 8h00-9h00 at the Committee of the Regions building, room JDE 70.

Interpretation will be available in Italian and Spanish. 

Please find the draft agenda of the meeting here. 

Are you interested in participating, please contact the EUREGHA Secretariat by 24 November: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

EUREGHA Annual Conference 6 December 2017

The  EUREGHA Annual conference “Exploring regional cross-border cooperation in health: Current practices and future outlookswill conclude EUREGHA’s ongoing policy cycle on cross-border cooperation in health. It will take place on the 6th of December 2017 13h00-17h30 at the Welsh Government EU Office (Rond-Point Schuman 11) in Brussels.

The conference will gather EUREGHA Member regions, European health networks, representatives from EU institutions  and other stakeholders to:

    • DISCUSS  key elements and strategies that leads to successful cross-border cooperation in health, as well as how we can assure long lasting and institutionalized health cooperation in border regions, by 
    • EXPLORING regional and local good practices and challenges on cross-border cooperation in health, and how to transpose these solutions to other borders, and 
    • FOCUSING on future outlooks of European health cooperation and distinguish future opportunities for regional cross-border cooperation in health.
Please find the draft conference agenda here.
Date & time: 6 December 2017, 13h00-17h30
Venue: Welsh Government EU Office (Rond-Point Schuman 11), floor 6, 1040 Brussels
Please register here by 1 December

The conference starts at 13h00. Registration will be open from 12.30.
A networking reception will follow the conference.

Please do not hesitate to contact the EUREGHA Secretariat at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. should you have any questions.

We look forward to welcoming you on


EUREGHA & EUMH Alliance conference: "Mental Health in the Workplace" 11 Oct 2017

On 11th of October, EUREGHA co-organized a full-day conference on the topic “Mental Health in the Workplace – A multi-stakeholder dialogue” in cooperation with EUMH Alliance (European Alliance for Mental Health – Employment and Work) and the Committee of the Regions Interregional Group on Health & Wellbeing. 
The conference gathered over one hundred participants to discuss how to promote mentally healthy workplaces between employees, employers, users of mental health services and human resources specialists. 

Nicoline Tamsma, president of EuroHealthNet, introduced the conference and chaired the first panel discussion on the topic: “What is the current impact of mental ill health on productivity, economic growth and social inclusion?”. David McDaid from the London School of Economics and Political Science, presented the importance of the workplace from a public mental health perspective: “We do not leave our bad or good mental health at the workplace, we bring it with us, he explained. Mr McDaid also presented data of the current situation on mental health problems in the workplace in Europe, which shows that nurses and health professionals have highest rate of reported depression, stress and anxiety in the United Kingdom. There are also regional differences in sick leave due to mental health problems within European countries. Mr McDaid explains that workplaces that manage “difficult customers” such as pupils and patients, are the workplaces at which employees have highest risk for developing mental ill health. There are four factors in vulnerable workplaces that indicates higher risks for mental health problems among the employees; 1) poor communication within the work place, 2) job insecurity, 3) employees’ lack of influence, 4) discrimination. 

According to EU-OSHA, in the European Union alone, work-related ill-health and injury costs €476 billion every year, which could be saved with the right occupational safety and health strategies and used for promoting wellbeing and positive mental health. As Brenda O’Brien from EU-OSHA explained “the main reason for companies to address health and safety is to be compliant with the law, it is not about altruism”. Harmonization of minimum occupational health and safety standards throughout Europe is needed, as well as a better understanding of why it is beneficial to invest in mental wellbeing at work. There remains a lack of understanding and implementation of existing legislation on mental health in the workplace, and participants recommended more and better guidelines on how to interpret existing requirements. Ms Vanessa Zurkirch, Regional Center of Reference for Relational Criticies from Tuscany Region, raise that social relationships are an important protective factor in a stressful environment, which is why we need to focus on strengthening the social relationships in a workplace. 

Ingibjörg Jonsdottir, professor at the Institute of Stress Medicine from the Region Västra Götaland, concluded that mental health promotion and prevention in the workplace is mainly about organizational and structural changes, and most importantly needs to be addressed on a management level rather than individual. Ms Jonsdottir explained: “The challenges are more about the workplace and how work is organized and less about “mindfulness”. Stigma and self-stigma also have a huge role to play in promoting mental health-friendly workplaces. “For most people experiencing mental ill health, the stigma attached to it is even worse than the mental health problem itself” explained Anita Hubner, Mental Health Ambassador. 

Bob Grove, Senior Policy Advisor, Mental Health Europe ended the conference with the concluding remarks that mental health at work should be considered as an asset rather than a risk. Healthy workplaces is something that all employers should aim for, and work for.

  • Download speakers' presentations HERE.
  • See pictures of the event HERE.
  • Read the press release HERE.
  • Watch MEP Julie Ward's video message HERE.

SUNFRAIL Final Conference 7 February

The SUNFRAIL Final Conference will take place in Bologna, Italy, on February 7th 2018.

SUNFRAIL Final Conference is dedicated to present the main results obtained during the 34 months of the Sunfrail project. It aims to propose recommendations for the replicability and sustainability of the model and of the tools identified. Furthermore, the conference focuses on programs and initiatives in the field of frailty and multimorbidity. The Sunfrail tool and model will be discussed as well as the opportunities that the project have resulted in. The Final Conference will include panel and plenary discussions with high level European and international speakers from the European Commission and national and regional health departments. 

Please note this date. The invitation will be circulated shortly.

Please visit the SUNFRAIL website for more information about the project.

Commission Communication “Boosting Growth and Cohesion in EU Border Regions”

On the 20th of September 2017 the European Commission adopted its Communication “Boosting Growth and Cohesion in EU Border Regions”.

The Communication aims to highlight ways in which the EU, Member States and regions can reduce the complexity, length and costs of cross-border interaction and promote cooperation in services along internal borders.

The Communication marks cross-border healthcare as a crucial field for cooperation to improve life of border region citizens. In the Communication document, the Commission proposes a set of actions to be implemented in this area. These actions will be facilitated by the creation of a “Border Focal Point” within the Commission consisting of Commission experts in cross-border issues, which will offer advice to national and regional authorities to tackle legal and administrative border obstacles.

The Commission’s actions to promote cross-border healthcare in 2018: 

  • Conduct a comprehensive mapping of cross-border health cooperation across the EU in order to identify good practices and analyze future challenges. The mapping will be available and shared with stakeholders via the Border Focal Point in 2018.
  • Organize a strategic event to highlight good practices of cross-border cooperation and explore ways in which this can be further developed throughout the Union.
  • Support the implementation of digital services in regional/local health authorities by actively promoting existing e-solutions among border stakeholders and public authorities.

Communication Launch Event 20- 21 September 2017

To mark the adoption of the Communication, a launch event took place on the 20-21 September.

During the Keynote Speech, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Ms Crețu put forward examples of what can be done to remove hurdles that obstruct growth, healthcare and labour mobility in border regions. The Commissioner also mentioned that in late 2017, the Commission will launch a call for projects related to reduce border obstacles. These calls will primarily focus on the health sector and transport issues which the Commissioner finds especially important in these regions.

Mr Henri Lewalle, expert on Franco-Belgian Agreements on cross-border healthcare, presented the healthcare cooperation, emergency medical care and the medico-social cooperation being implemented along the Franco-Belgian border. The cooperation can be seen as an example on how two health systems can use their differences to complement each other, share knowledge and ultimately improve the healthcare for their border region citizens

Read more about the Franco-Belgian agreement on Cross-border healthcare here.

Brochure: “Overcoming obstacles in border regions”


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