Future of the European Health Union

Reflections on the future of the European Health Union

EPF welcomes the adoption of the Council Conclusions on the European Health Union on 21 June, which follow the Commission’s Communication on “the European Health Union: acting together for people's health”. We strongly support the Council’s continued commitment to building a European Health Union based on solidarity and timely, equitable access to high-quality healthcare for all. We regret however that the same commitment was not reflected in the European Council’s Strategic Agenda for 2024-2029. As noted in the Council Conclusions, health is a precondition for the well-functioning of our society and economy, and by extension for a secure, prosperous, and competitive Europe.

In this context, we particularly welcome the Council’s focus on:  

  • Recognising the need for ambitious joint action across a wide range of public health challenges to support more resilient, patient-centred healthcare systems;
  • Prioritising investment in health; 
  • Addressing unmet patients’ needs

However, we call on the EU institutions to ensure a greater focus on:  

  • Prioritising health literacy to empower patients and improve health outcomes;
  • Achieving a true single market for medical products to improve patients’ access to the products they need; 
  • Recognising the key role of civil society organisations, and patient organisations in particular, in bridging the gap between institutions and the public. 

Our full statement is available here.