The EU fosters international collaboration, both to tackle global challenges together (epidemics, pandemics, orphan diseases, etc.), and to promote citizens' health and uphold principles, standards and high-quality legislation.
Cooperation with potential new EU members
The EU advises countries applying to join the EU and others that may apply in future on EU health policy, and evaluates their progress towards EU health standards and policies. The relevant ‘chapters’ of membership negotiations are:
Public health - chapter 28 on consumer and health protection
Pharmaceuticals - chapter 1 on the free movement of goods.
The Commission supports and guides these countries and monitors progress in incorporating EU rules into their own legislation. The Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Mechanism (TAIEX), andtwinning programmes with EU national administrations, help the countries concerned bring their health standards into line with EU norms and set up or develop the institutions and administrative structures they need.
Official candidates: (Membership negotiations started)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Cooperation with Neighbouring countries
The EU has a privileged relationship with its neighbors. There are currently 16 countries: in the Mediterranean, in Eastern Europe and in the Caucasus.
Association Agreements have been signed with them which also include public health. In particular, the EU offers support for reforms that may be necessary to ensure adequate health care and for initiatives in the medical and research field.
Reform of the health sector and public health and dialogue on health policy
Health information and knowledge
Combating communicable diseases and other health threats
Support includes, for example, training programs such as the Mediterranean Intervention Epidemiology Training Program (MediPIET) and cooperation with the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
Cooperation between the European Commission and the WHO stems from a 2001 agreement, which sets out general principles, objectives and procedures, including regular meetings of senior officials. The commitment is to work together to achieve the highest level of health and health protection, in line with the sustainable development goals.
Cooperation covers health security, health systems, noncommunicable diseases with a particular focus on cancer, sustainable food systems, and health and health cooperation with third countries.
Cooperation also has a regional dimension:
Cooperation with the WHO headquarters in Geneva on issues of global concern
With the WHO Regional Office for Europe (in Copenhagen) on European issues
In the countries of the world (national cooperation).
In addition, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) also works closely with WHO on a range of issues, including communicable diseases.
The Commission participates as an observer in the annual meetings of the WHO Executive Board and the World Health Assembly in Geneva, as well as in the annual meetings of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe.
Through the European External Action Service (EEAS), it works with EU countries to prepare joint declarations and negotiate texts with other countries. In addition, it participates in periodic consultations organized by the WHO, working to ensure consistency between policies and action on both sides.
Since 2005, the Commission has collaborated with WHO on a number of policy projects, with funding from the EU's public health program.
The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and the International Health Regulations (IHR) are important international health laws developed under the auspices of the WHO, where the European Commission participated in the negotiations.
Cooperation is active with the World Health Organization on the following topics:
Communicable diseases such as HIV / AIDS and tuberculosis