A summary of the European approach to global health

In summary, a European approach to global health must reflect European values for the protection and improvement of health as: a human right, a key to human security and development and a focus for global governance.

  1. A human right and associated European health values of:
    • solidarity
    • universality
    • access to quality care
    • equity (with special regard to gender equity)
  2. A key dimension of the values of human security and development:
    • for the protection of the health and wellbeing of European citizens
    • as a fundamental requirement for social and economic development, and
    • to avoid the danger of failed states
    • to avert long term health and environmental meltdown
  3. An important focus for values concerning global governance:
    • ensuring open dialogue between states, civic society and other institutions to establish in global health goals and policy
    • strengthening global institutions to lead, monitor and provide oversight
    • framing market mechanisms within appropriate laws and regulation

A value-based approach to health systems has been confirmed through the work of the different EU institutions, which culminated, in June 2006, in the adoption, by the ministers of health of the then 25 member states, of common values and principles to guide the reform and further development of EU health systems. Based on this, the European Health Strategy 2008-2013 has stated that health policy, both internal and external, should be founded on clear values. The Commission has been working with member states to define a value-based approach to healthcare systems and for health policy in a broader sense.