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Building the Public Health Community Across Europe [-] [2003304] - Project
General objectives

Support for the development of an integrated and inter-sectoral health strategy in the EU. This was achieved through three work packages: facilitating information exchange and networking among NGOs working on specific health determinants (WP1), building capacity of CEE NGOs to participate in EU level health activities (WP2) and developing an effective platform of environment and health organisations (WP3).
- WP1: To identify cross-cutting themes common to several health determinants/risk factors; to develop and share (i.e., with grass-roots organisations) appropriate policy responses and models of good practice relevant to a variety of settings, such as schools, workplace etc.
- WP2: To increase the CEE NGOs knowledge of the EU structures and health policies. To develop their capacity to participate in European health networks and projects as well as raising the profile at EU level of CEE health status and specific health challenges. Integration of CEE NGOs into European health networks. Development of national platforms of public health NGOs in accession countries.
- WP3: To mobilise a critical mass of NGO to participate in the Environment and Health process. To stimulate evidence-based and effective policy analysis and proposals relevant to EU environmental responsibilities, such as pesticides, chemicals, air quality, noise pollution etc. To orchestrate NGO commitment in support of the Children`s E and H Action Plan.

Strategic relevance and contribution to the public health programme

Promoting health and prevent disease through addressing health determinants across all policies and activities.
(Health determinants, strand 3)
This project was designed to support an effective health strategy in the EU that is multi-sectorial and multi-disciplinary, has strong buy-in and implementation from civil society and is closely linked to other EU policies with an impact on health, notably environment. There are three distinct work packages designed to link and coordinate policy initiatives and exchange best practices on health determinants and settings (WP1), reinforce the capacity and skills of NGOs in accession countries (WP2) and develop and consolidate NGO participation in the EU environment and health legislative framework (WP3). The logic of the work packages was based on the need to ensure a holistic approach to public health policy integrating actions across all health determinants, to increase the effectiveness of community involvement to meet specific challenges of enlargement on health policy and status, and to further support the political momentum of environment and health policies. The project was submitted by EPHA, a platform of 90 NGOs from 22 European countries, bringing together health professionals, patients, researchers, practitioners, advocates and disease or issue specific structures. 31 EPHA organisations are international networks, with widespread national members. Moreover, EPHA`s membership includes organisations working on all of the cross-cutting themes and the priority health determinants. The geographic reach of EPHA and its member organisations is the EU, accession countries, several EFTA, SEE and NIS states. The partner for the activities in the accession countries was the Open Society Institutes Network (OSI). This project responded to Art 3.2.b, 3.2.d (ii, v) and 3.2.e of the Programme Decision on the importance of networking, consultation and coordination of NGOs at European level and Annex points 3.1 and 3.3 on health determinants. Furthermore, in relation to the 2003 Work plan, the project addressed the cross-cutting theme of health in the applicant countries Art. (developing the health community) and coordinating policy initiatives on different health determinants Articles 2.4.1 through 2.4.10 with in-depth activities on Art (an integrated approach to health and environment).

Methods and means

WP1: Development of a booklet on ‘The EU and health` setting out the changes in the new Treaty and EU institutions (council, parliament, commission) and how policies affecting health were managed. Regular policy meetings for health stakeholders to discuss health determinants. Information dissemination and publications on research and data on specific health determinants. WP2: Mapping exercise of NGOs and health organisations in each CEE and developed into a directory of health organisations. Creation of a network of information relayed contact points in each CEE country. Organisation of capacity building workshops. Creation of pilot national platforms of health NGOs in 3 CEE and rollout to other CEE. WP3: Utilisation of the EPHA Environment Network to disseminate information, build capacity, consult and develop following outputs: Environment and Health NGO Directory, Toolkit on Children`s Environment and Action Plan, Primer on EU Environment and Health Legislation

Expected outcomes period

Bi-monthly project newsletter: distributed electronically to database of 4 000 health contacts. Project website: multi-lingual portal with list-serves for each work-package. International conferences: June 2004, NGO event at Budapest Ministerial conference (WP3), June 2005, An assessment of the first 12 months of an enlarged EU (WP2), June 2006 Mid-term review of EU Public Health Programme results on health determinants (WP1). Booklet ‘EU and health`: all EU and CEE languages, 2 500 printed copies, online version. Directory of health NGOs in EU/CEE: 2 000 CD-Roms, online version. National networks of public health NGOs in CEE. Capacity building seminars in CEE countries. Toolkit for NGOs on the Children`s Environment and Health Action plan. Directory of health and environment NGOs: online version. Primer on Environment and Health: 2000 printed copies, on-line version.

Start date: 01/01/2004
End date: 01/07/2007
Duration: 42 month(s)
Current status: Finalised
Programme title: First Programme of Community action in the field of public health (2003-2008)
EC Contribution: € 935 987,00