The Commission's plans to address health inequalities are set out in the Commission Communication - Solidarity in Health: Reducing Health Inequalities in the EU, published on 20 October 2009
There are large differences in health between countries of the EU for example
- the chance of a child dying before its first birthday differs by a factor of five
- life expectancy at birth varies by 8 years (for females) and 14 years (for males)
In all countries the level of disease and age that people die are strongly influenced by factors such as employment, income, length of education and ethnicity.
The EU is working directly (through EU policy) and indirectly (through national authorities and stakeholders) to reduce such health inequalities.