Since its inception, the EHFG has developed into a key platform for health policy exchange, bringing together stakeholders and decision-makers from the public and private sector, civil society, and science and academia, who together form the four pillars of the EHFG with their specific perspectives and knowledge.

The EHFG further considers the vertical organisation of societies and the EU by integrating local, regional, national, European and international levels and facilitating the exchange of views and experience amongst key actors and communities from EU member states and the EEA countries, but also from the 52 countries of the WHO European Region.

Over the past decade, the EHFG has established itself as an indispensable institution in the scope of intersectoral European health policy, and has made a decisive contribution to the cross-border transfer of experience, information and best practice.

Over 1500 leading experts, decision-makers and community members participate in the annual conference and take part in additional EHFG events, projects and initiatives year-round, and the unparalleled mix of participants as well as the inclusive, courageous and candid nature of discussions set the tone for a unique opportunity of exchange and collaboration.

EHFG Archive

The EHFG is committed to advancing gender equity in health in all its activities, and this starts with who takes the floor during our annual conference

Objectives & Goals

We provide the intersectoral and inclusive forum for discussion to our key stakeholders to network, learn from each other, share the latest health policy developments in their countries and across Europe, and shape the future of health and societal equity.

Thinking Europe

We focus primarily on health policy in Europe, at all political levels.

Gathering key people

Leaders from all health stakeholder groups meet & debate in Gastein.

Shaping health

We report to key European & national institutions, feeding into future policies.

Featuring big issues

Discuss with senior experts & get a 360° view on major topics.

The EHFG over the years

1998: First EHFG Conference

First conference held under the main theme of Creating a better future for health systems in Europe. Topics discussed then: European Health Policy at the Turn of the Millennium, Global Development, National Responsibility and Regional Challenge in a Changing Europe and International Networks.

2000: Information & Communication in Health

Reaching 450 delegates. Focus on: health information, adapting IT applications to the needs of health services and improving communication about health risks. A place to be for the back-then EU Applicant CEE countries.

2001: Integrating Health across Policies

The necessity of integrating health into different policy areas will remain high on the agenda throughout the years.

2007: Anniversary Edition

Reaching 600 delegates! On the occasion of its 10th anniversary the EHFG has founded the European Health Award (EHA) and the Young Forum Gastein Network initiatives.

2009: Financial Crisis & Health Policy

Drawing attention to the impact of financial crisis and subsequent economic recession on the health systems of Europe and beyond. Health economics, health systems performance and austerity measures will remain on the agenda in the coming years.

2012: New EHFG Presidency

After leading the EHFG for 15 years, founding-father Professor Günther Leiner hands over the presidency to Professor Helmut Brand. MEP Karin Kadenbach is elected Vice-President.

2016: Demographics & Diversity

Featuring an EU Presidency-Trio debate & Nobel Prize Laureate on stage. Topics on the agenda: population ageing, the rise of multi-morbidity, increased societal diversity and migratory pressures.

2017: 3rd EHFG president elected

In the 2017 board elections, Clemens Martin Auer, Director General at the Austrian Ministry for Health & Women's Affairs was elected the new EHFG President.

2018: Health and Sustainable Development

At the 21st EHFG conference, health policy experts acknowledged the necessity to avoid reversing the strides achieved in improving the health of Europeans and raised concerns about the possible impact of the 2019 European elections on Europe’s health agenda.

2019: A healthy dose of disruption?

The 22nd edition of the EHFG conference hosted 600 leading health policy experts agreeing on the need for disruptive changes for health and societal well-being.

2020: Dancing with elephants

Amidst a global pandemic that made health a fiercely politicised issue and demonstrated the need for true cross-sector and cross-border collaboration, the EHFG 2020 explored new ways of engaging with the biggest players in health and forging fresh partnerships among stakeholders in the quest to improve health and well-being for all - "dancing with elephants".

2021: Rise like a phoenix

At the digital EHFG 2021, decision-makers, experts and community members from the public and private sector, civil society and academia came together to envision how we can build resilience to prevail over current and future challenges, and fight for solidarity and equity, within Europe and on the global stage. One message was clear: to transform the grim lessons learned into sustainable strategies for a better tomorrow, it is essential to level up in all areas of health, health policy and multilateral cooperation.

2022: A moonshot for a true European Health Union

Three years since the last onsite meeting in the Gastein Valley, the European public health community once more came together to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the EHFG and its first ever hybrid conference. Discussions focused on the challenges and policy options for action urgently needed across sectors, borders, and disciplines at this watershed moment.

2023: Health systems in crisis

At the hybrid European Health Forum Gastein 2023, decision-makers, experts, and community members from the public and private sector, civil society, and science and academia came together to discuss how we can ride out the current shockwaves and explore how crises can help catalyse the development of new approaches to health system problems.

2024: Shifting sands of health

Join us at the hybrid EHFG 2024 from 24 - 27 September to help find solutions for the complex “3D” interplay of democracy, demographics, and digitalisation.


Our impact

... as discussed in Gastein

The EHFG produces a catalogue of recommendations and observations – the EHFG Outcomes - for those with responsibility in policy development and implementation, in health and beyond. These Outcomes are communicated to relevant national and European institutions, as well as the wider EHFG community.

Outcomes 2023

President's Message


The EHFG finances are made up of partnership fees from conference sessions and other stand-alone events, conference participation fees, and other financial contributions such as subsidies and grants. The organisation's founding principle is the equal representation of its four pillars, irrespective of their financial contribution to sustaining the EHFG.    


EHFG News & Updates

EHFG Headquarters

EHFG Vienna Office

The European Health Forum Gastein has received funding under a project grant from the European Union’s EU4Health programme 2021-2027. Views and opinions expressed on this website are however those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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