Health as Political priority beyond the European Union elections

Political party election manifesto analysis by public health expert organisations


With 70% of the European citizens wanting more action on health[1], it is an issue that most Europeans agree should remain a high priority after the European Parliament elections. The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) and the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) both recently analysed of the European Parliamentary parties’ election manifestos. [2][3]  Both organisations found that while most of the European parties included some aspects of health policy, but that health has not been prioritised as a major issue overall. Given that Europe is already facing major public health threats, it is crucial that the new European Parliament understands the importance of health in Europe. Health must not be brushed aside, but be seen as a major policy area that will benefit all European citizens.

Based on the findings of their analysis, and in line with the EU4Health’ seven key asks, EUPHA calls for:

  • EU parties and groups to give more attention to big health threats in Europe such as NCDs, the obesity epidemic, antimicrobial resistance, vaccine confidence, tobacco, and mental health. The EU needs strong leadership, based on a DG for Health.
  • EU parties and groups to put more focus on health promotion and disease prevention. Prevention is always better than cure and prevention costs are lower than treatment costs. Every euro that is invested in health generates, on average, an economic return of 14 euros.
  • The EU to invest in health research and innovation. This is crucial in order to identify health gaps, to understand what is needed for creating strategies, and to set the agenda. Furthermore, the EU should foster knowledge translation to address the gap between the large volume of research data and the implementation of this evidence in policy and practice by key stakeholders.
  • Mainstreaming health in all policies via an inter-sectoral horizontal approach, inter alia as proposed in the All Policies for a Healthy Europe campaign. Just as Member States are not able to tackle health issues alone, neither can the health sector solve all health challenges by themselves. Health is everywhere and Health Impact Assessments (HIA) can strengthen rational policy-and decision-making.
  • Placing health higher on the EU agenda to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a cause the EU has committed to implement in both its internal and external policies.


Read the article by  EPHA here and EUPHA’s  full statement  here.

The European Public Health Association, or EUPHA in short, is an umbrella organisation for public health associations and institutes in Europe. EUPHA was founded in 1992 by 15 members (12 countries).

The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) is a change agent, Europe’s leading NGO alliance advocating for better health in EU policies. We are a dynamic member-led organisation made up of public health NGOs, patient groups, health professionals and disease groups, working together to improve health and strengthen the voice of public health in Europe.