State of Health in the EU


The State of Health in the EU is a two-year initiative undertaken by the European Commission that provides policy makers, interest groups, and health practitioners with factual, comparative data and insights into health and health systems in EU countries. The continuous cycle is developed in cooperation with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies.

The two-year State of Health in the EU cycle consists of four main stages:

  • The Health at a Glance: Europe, prepared by the OECD, gives a horizontal starting point.
  • Individual Country Health Profiles, adapted to the context and specificities of each EU country, assess the strengths and challenges in their respective health systems.
  • A Companion Report published along with the Country Health Profiles draws cross-cutting conclusions, links common policy priorities across EU countries, and explores the scope for mutual learning.
  • At the close of the two-year cycle, health authorities in EU countries can request voluntary exchanges with the experts behind the State of Health in the EU, to discuss findings and potential policy responses.

The research is undertaken by health experts and is designed to inform and support policy making, not to make recommendations. The cycle is aligned to the policy objectives set out in the 2014 Commission Communication on effective, accessible and resilient health systems.