Last week, Young Gasteiners joined students from the Maastricht University at their study trip to DG SANTÈ / DG NEAR. The group consisted of people from France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Finland, Hungary and Austria. We were welcomed by Canice Nolan DG SANTÈ and Dorthe Fors from DG NEAR and enjoyed a two-hour informal get-together, where Candice Nolan shared some insights about the commission. We got an impression of the relation between WHO, UN and EC and the five directorates related to health.
Canice Nolan elaborated on treaty discussions at the WHO. One member state is asked to represent the EC and the shared vision of all member states. Since the EC is not part of the WHO or UN, the EC would otherwise have to wait until the end of the discussions until it could contribute. Sometimes it is very difficult to come up with a shared vision between member states when it comes to topics such as sexual health and reproduction, where Ireland and Poland will have fundamentally different views than Sweden and the Netherlands. Furthermore, Canice Nolan stated that also communication and collaboration with the industry is very important. “Since all are part of the problem, we should all be part of the solution.”
Lastly, we discussed the role of funders of WHO. The EC is one of the biggest funders, but yet its influence is not in proportion. The US and the Gates foundation are the biggest funders, but a danger lies in the acceptance of money from organisations such as the Gates foundation as they will only fund research and projects that they believe are right. The question of legitimisation arises.
After a very interesting two-hour meeting with DG SANTÈ and DG NEAR, part of the group left to the Parlamentarium for a tour.
This blog was written by Joreintje Mackenbach (Young Forum Gastein 2014 scholar)
My experience at the European Health Forum Gastein was highly valuable at professional and personal level. Professionally, I had the chance to meet senior and young colleagues in the health care sector either working as policy makers or as researchers. I could discuss with them about health related topics such as the transposition of the European Union cross border health care directive, the development of personalized medicine in Europe, or the impact that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership may have in European public health. It was interesting to share different perspectives from different countries and contexts. Moreover, I had the chance to create some working alliances which may bring some fruitful results for my project in diabetes modeling. For example, I am now in contact with an international body for a potential staff exchange in their organization. From a personal perspective, I met very nice people from different cultures with whom I shared four wonderful days in a very unique place. We shared fresh air at 2,500 meters in the Alps, we had some delightful food at the receptions, and we had much fun dancing untillate in the evenings. I would recommend this experience to anyone, especially those working in the public health sector and at decision making positions.
Apply now for the Young Forum Gastein 2015. Click here.
Autor: Sonia García Pérez
Involved in a cross-border health project? Apply now for the 2015 European Health Award!
The International Forum Gastein has now announced its annual search for an exceptional initiative aiming to improve public health or healthcare in Europe.
The prize was established in 2007 to promote cross-border cooperation, multi-country working and the development of sustainable, innovative and transferable initiatives. The award of €10,000 will be sponsored by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health and FOPI, the association of research-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in Austria.
For more information have a look on our website: http://www.ehfg.org/award.html
Spread the word, we are looking forward to receiving your applications!
We are very happy to share the conference theme for the 18th European Health Forum Gastein with you!
Securing Health in Europe
Balancing priorities, sharing responsibilities
Current health systems need to safeguard past gains in health while responding to new threats and opportunities which call for a strengthened European public health response. Though public health security remains high on the agenda, effective health systems go beyond that and are challenged also to engage with issues that lie outside the health sector. Functioning social systems and a resilient economy strongly contribute to a healthy Europe.
18th EHFG: 30th September – 2nd October 2015
Keep an eye out for further information!
Prof. Dr. Helmut Brand sums up the health outcomes of our 2014 conference!
EHFG 2014 – “Electing health – the Europe we want!“– emphasised the need for intersectoral collaboration and the importance of balancing competing objectives in health policy making. Find out more by watching the video below.