Health in all policies


Since health is determined to a large extent by factors outside the health area, an effective health policy must involve all relevant policy areas, in particular:

  • social and regional policy
  • taxation
  • environment
  • education
  • research.

All EU policies are required by the EU treaty to follow this "Health in all Policies" (HIAP) approach. But to be fully effective, this approach needs to be extended to national, regional and local policies.

Health in EU initiatives

The key role of health has been broadly recognised and is an integral element in most major EU strategic initiatives  – such as its strategies for growth and jobs and sustainable development.

Coordination among policy areas

Health determinants cannot be influenced by health policy on its own - there is a need for coordinated action, joint strategies and initiatives  with other health-related policy areas in order to ensure that health concerns are being addressed adequately.

Impact of EU policies and action

Most Commission initiatives must comply with official impact assessment guidelines, requiring them to (also) consider potential impacts on health or health systems  when formulating new policies.

EU agencies

EU agencies  carry out specific technical, scientific or managerial tasks. They are governed by European public law and have their own legal personality, but are separate from the EU institutions (Council, Parliament, Commission, etc.).