On April 21, 2016 Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, gave a speech on prevention and management of chronic diseases. Andriukaitis noted that chronic diseases, which account for 80% of European healthcare, position a problem that needs to be tackled EU-wide, and not by Member States alone. He further stressed that health must be addressed by “all policies: educational, social, environmental, fiscal etc.,” emphasizing the importance of coordination and cooperation among different policy makers in the “multi-sectorial” fight against health risk factors. “Most of the healthcare costs are created by the industry that earn money from risk factors,” Andriukaitis said, highlighting “tobacco and alcohol, but also unhealthy food” as examples of manageable risks.

The Commissioner reminded of the need to focus on “three Ps: Prevention, promotion and protection,” and also named the fourth one – participation. With the goal to enable the broader contribution of different stakeholders to the dialogue and actions for promoting better health, the “EU Health Policy Platform” was officially launched on April 21, 2016. This resource provides a “forum to exchange information on key health issues such as risk factors, health determinants, chronic and also rare diseases.” Interested stakeholders active in the field of health, including non-governmental organizations, organizations representing patients or health professionals, as well as health service providers, health insurance bodies, research organizations, and business associations committed to health promotion, are invited to join the platform, where they can contribute to online discussions or targeted thematic discussions during face-to-face meetings.

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Vytenis Andriukaitis (April 21, 2016). “Preventing and addressing chronic diseases: A commission priority – meeting on chronic diseases “Towards the better prevention and management of chronic diseases” – 21 April 2016 – Brussels.” European Commission

European Commission (2016). EU Health Policy Platform.