Health in all policies


Most Commission initiatives must comply with official impact assessment guidelines, which also cover health impacts. They require the relevant Commission departments to be closely involved in planning initiatives and offer further techniques for integrating health concerns.

The Commission also works with outside experts – in government and academia – to further improve its understanding of how EU action impacts health and health systems. Key interests are how these impacts could be determined and measured and how they can be taken into account.

Impact assessment guidelines

Health is incorporated in the Commission’s impact assessment guidelines, backed up by methodologies for health impact assessment (HIA) developed through the public health programme. This has three pillars – health is particularly mentioned under the social and environmental pillar.

Health Impact Assessment (HIA)

From 2001 to 2004, the Commission financed a project to provide an in-depth analysis of HIA.

The main result is a HIA guide which gives details of specific health impacts and assessment procedures and methods.

Health Systems Impact Assessment (HSIA)

In 2007, a Member State working group on health impact assessment and health systems has developed a HSIA methodology and an online EU Health Systems Impact Assessment tool for applying to all EU policies.

Other EU projects on Health Impact Assessment

Guidance on assessing social impacts

The Guidance for assessing social impacts is an additional tool for policy makers that includes detailed advice on assessing health impacts of EU policies.