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Public Health (21-09-2006)

Health In All Policies: Commissioner Kyprianou addresses Finnish EU Presidency Conference

The current Finnish Presidency of the EU held a conference on “Health in all Policies” in Kuopio (Finland) on 20-21 September 2006, where Markos Kyprianou, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection was a keynote speaker.
The conference was the culmination of a project entitled ‘Europe for health and wealth’, which was co-financed under the Commission’s 2005 Public Health Programme, with a contribution of €350 000. The aim of this project was to ensure the recognition of health determinants in a range of policies. As such, the conference provided political momentum to the importance of Health Impact Assessments, and to the acknowledgment of health as a driver of economic growth. Health impact assessment is an approach to policy-making that determines how a proposal will affect people’s health.
Commissioner Kyprianou summed up the conference by outlining some of the progress made at EU level in recent years to ensure a high level of health protection in all policies. In addition to legislative action, health has been included in financial instruments such as the Research Framework Programmes and Structural Funds. Furthermore, the Healthy Life Years Indicator (a measure of the number of remaining years that a person of a certain age is still supposed to live without disability) has been included as a measure of economic success within the Lisbon Agenda targets.
The Commissioner also stressed the importance of an integrated health policy, especially in light of current demographic changes including ageing population and migration patterns. Finally, he stressed the need for both a pro-active approach and effective national and local structures, and called for a high level of political commitment to ensure that health is properly taken into account in other policies at European, national and local level. 
For further information on health in other EU policies:
For further information on this Finnish Presidency conference: