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WHO and European Commission adopt joint declaration


14 Sep 2010


Health & Consumers

Copenhagen and Moscow, 13 September 2010



The WHO Regional Office for Europe and the European Commission adopted a joint declaration today, seeking to strengthen policy dialogue and technical cooperation on public health. 


The declaration was made in Moscow, Russian Federation, during the annual meeting of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe which was attended by John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy. The declaration outlines the framework for cooperation for the next five years and envisages the development of joint systems for health surveillance, alert and information, and stronger collaboration on the country level.


“It is crucial for us to work more closely with the European Commission on addressing common public health challenges in the 53 Member States in the WHO European Region. The consequences of the financial crisis and the existing and emerging public health threats can only be tackled through a more streamlined collaborative framework, backed up by a strategic vision,” says Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe.


John Dalli says: “I welcome and fully support this declaration for future collaboration between the European Commission and the World Health Organisation. By working closer together, we can build synergies, avoid duplication and be more effective in achieving our health objectives. I believe that now is the right moment, at the beginning of my mandate and that of Zsuzsana Jakab, to strengthen and enlarge our partnership.”


Since 2001, the two organizations have cooperated closely in a wide range of areas, including health security, health information, tobacco control, nutrition and obesity, cancer and other noncommunicable diseases, environment and health, and the strengthening of health systems. They will now extend their cooperation to e-health, health research, innovation in health and education. The partners will also develop a closer working relationship between European Commission delegations and WHO country offices in eastern Europe.


The joint declaration calls for a more cohesive effort to improve health security throughout the WHO European Region. It particularly emphasizes the need to act against the threats of antimicrobial resistance, especially multidrug resistance. 


The WHO Regional Office for Europe and the European Commission will join forces to help improve public health surveillance and strengthen alert and response systems to allow quicker and more efficient responses to disease outbreaks and pandemics across the 53 countries in the WHO European Region.


The two partners will take joint action to facilitate the establishment of a single integrated information system covering the WHO European Region. They will also collaborate to help countries address the consequences of the financial and economic crisis and maximize the health returns of health and non-health investments.


The declaration highlights the need for closer monitoring of health inequalities across the European Region and for exploring ways to combat them. It also underscores the importance of formal education in building healthy lifestyles. 


A coordinated effort will be made to facilitate the development of a new European health policy for the WHO European Region: an integrated framework for tackling existing health challenges on the wider European continent.


Notes to editors


1. The text of the declaration is available on the Regional Office’s web site at:


2. The WHO Regional Committee for Europe meets every year in September to discuss a range of issues related to health policy and health development. The annual meetings provide a forum for regional cooperation by the 53 Member States in the WHO European Region. The Regional Office web site offers more information about the 2010 session, scheduled for 13–16 September (

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For further information and interview requests, please contact:


Liuba Negru

Communications Officer

WHO Regional Office for Europe

Tel: +45 39 17 13 44, +45 20 45 92 74 (mobile)



Zsofia Szilagyi

Communications Adviser

WHO Regional Office for Europe

Tel: +45 39 17 16 27, +45 24 67 48 46 (mobile)






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