New EU Global Health Strategy

Since the last EU Global Health strategy of 2010, many major challenges have emerged and a new strategy is now necessary to better address these challenges.

In the past decade, there has been a better understanding of the many related factors affecting health and of the need to address them in a comprehensive, joined-up way. This would also enable the EU to better tackle health inequalities and fend off global threats, all based on its commitments to human rights and health equity.

Climate change and the destruction of natural habitats have increased the risk of animal viruses, which can cause pandemics. This brings the close links between the environment, animal and plant health, and human health sharply into focus (the ‘One Health’ approach).

There is also a better understanding of the complexity of gender’s effect on health and of the link between lifestyle and nutrition, or between non-communicable diseases and mental health.

The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of effectively preparing for and reacting to emergencies. At the same time, it has slowed down or even reversed progress of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Most of all, it has been a call to reflect on how other EU policies, described below, can help fight global health threats.

To this end, the European Commission is proposing a new EU global health strategy. This initiative aims to respond to the changes above, renew the EU’s external action in health and build on the strengthened European Health Union. The initiative sets out a strategy to:

  1. Strengthen global health systems to tackle health inequalities, advance towards universal health coverage and deliver social protection in health.
  2. Strengthen the EU’s global leadership through a Team Europe approach, which contributes to more effective multilateral institutions and develops strategic partnerships with other regions in the world, together with more effective communication.
  3. Ensure effective financing through a Team Europe approach, which corresponds to this initiative’s needs and ambitions.

The strategy will also set out thematic and cross-cutting measures to achieve these objectives such as better coordination between the EU and its Member States to speak with one voice at global, regional and national level.

As part of this initiative, the Commission has launched a public consultation to gather views from relevant stakeholders such as health NGOs, patient associations, health professionals and related organisations, on what policies and measures should the EU focus on and how this should be done in the new strategy.

Those interested in partaking in this online consultation are invited to provide their input by September 19, 2022.