Building resilience in times of change

EuroHealthNet Annual Report
June 2021-June 2022

7. How we work

7. How we work

2021 Online General Council Meeting

The 2021 General Council Meeting, an important annual event to bring together all EuroHealthNet members, was held virtually in June due to continuing pandemic travel restrictions. The General Council provides members with the opportunity to come together and stimulate cooperation and exchange of expertise.

At the event, Members approved EuroHealthNet’s 2020/21 Activity Report and the financial report and elected three new Board Members. EuroHealthNet Director, Caroline Costongs and WHO Europe’s Regional Director, Dr. Hans Kluge, also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen collaboration between the two organisations.

Members also discussed and adopted EuroHealthNet’s Strategic Development Plan (2021-2025) and heard about other Members’ activities to ‘build back better and faster’, such as the Finnish Plan to reduce inequalities and wellbeing by 2030. They also discussed opportunities for engagement at the EU Policy levels.

Online EuroHealthNet Seminar on Digital Futures

On December 7 2021, EuroHealthNet organised a high-level conference on “Promoting Digital Health Literacy for Europe’s Digital Future” for members and other stakeholders from European, national and (sub) national levels. The seminar offered simultaneous translation into French.

Main messages

The seminar shed light on three main points as calls to action:

  • Public health professionals and policymakers need to consciously work towards a digital transformation that does not widen health inequalities, with digital solutions being diverse enough to cater for the heterogeneity of different societies. In line with this, health equity impact assessments should be a golden standard.
  • Public health stakeholders must be more involved in the legal and regulatory frameworks of digital services.
  • All relevant stakeholders should continue building the body of knowledge on digital health literacy, evaluate interventions, take stock of existing efforts, and engage with actors holding different perspectives to truly bring forward the learning outcomes.


Seminar speakers
More on digitalisation and health

Thematic Working Groups (TWIGs)

Thematic Working Groups (TWIGs) provide a space for EuroHealthNet Members and Associate Members to exchange and work together on a specific topic of mutual interest. It brings together specialists on key subjects chosen by Members so they can stay up to date, pool knowledge, and build common positions.

TWIGs are member-led, whereby one or more Members set the agenda, chair meetings and lead on jointly agreed activities. EuroHealthNet provides coordination and technical support by hosting and minuting meetings, facilitating communication amongst Members, and providing input from and taking relevant action at the EU level. The following TWIGS were active and established in 2021/22.

The new TWIG on Healthy Urban Environments gives us an excellent opportunity to collaborate with partners across Europe to develop integrated strategies to address social and environmental determinants of health. Overall, TWIGS offer an extremely valuable platform to share knowledge, insights, tools, and methods, and to discuss, propose and jointly advocate for public policy recommendations for all implementation levels, and jointly enhance the impact of their public health driven activities

Dr. Mojca Gabrijelcic Blenkus - President of EuroHealthNet

  • Dr. Mojca Gabrijelčič Blenkuš, President of EuroHealthNet and Senior Advisor at the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) in Slovenia

TWIG on Best Practice Portals

The TWIG on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Programme Registers, or ‘Best Practice Portals’, is a platform for exchange between existing portals to share experience, identify and further develop common topics of relevance, to initiate joint projects, and to share findings in (scientific) papers and at (international) conferences.

More about this TWIG

The TWIG's aim is to become the competence engine for best practice portals across Europe. In 2022, the TWIG aims to submit its first article for publication and to host a workshop at the EPHC.

The TWIG is co-lead by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and the German Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA). As of May 2022, seven member institutions are participating in this TWIG.

Collaborating with others

TWIG on Social Marketing to Address Addictions

The Social Marketing to Address Addictions TWIG acts as a platform to exchange knowledge and best practices regarding social marketing strategies, including mass media public health campaigns, to tackle addictions and substance use.

The TWIG involves ten member institutions. The TWIG is led by Santé publique France (SpF) and the Trimbos Institute from the Netherlands.


TWIG on Healthy Living Environments

The TWIG on Healthy Living Environments grew out of the Join Action on Health Equity Europe (JAHEE)’s work on this topic. JAHEE came to a formal end in November 2021, but many of the participants in the JAHEE work strand that focused on Healthy Living Environments were EuroHealthNet members and interested in continuing to exchange on developments in their country in this area. The aim is also to investigate and pursue other opportunities to implement the final JAHEE recommendations in this area, including the over-riding one of making municipalities ‘umbrella settings for health’.

Financing & funding

uroHealthNet’s funding comes from three main sources:

1) Member and Associate Member fees
2) A core grant from the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI)
3) Co-funded EU project grants or specific funded work

We continue to make efforts to increase the share of funding from direct participation. We do not accept funding from for profit bodies.


External evaluation

The external evaluation of EuroHealthNet’s work in 2021 provided an analysis of the alignment of health policy priorities in the post-COVID-19 recovery period. Higher alignment in a policy context is an important pre-condition for effectively influencing policy based on scientific evidence.

Understanding the playing field

Understanding the degree of alignment between core actors such as EuroHealthNet members (public health experts), national governments, and supranational actors like the European Commission and WHO Europe allows EuroHealthNet to more effectively tailor and target its advocacy efforts at all levels.


Thank you

Our work would not be possible without the continued commitment and support of Members and Associate Members, and the European Commission’s EaSI (2018-2021) and ESF+ Programmes (2022-2027). Thanks to you, we are delivering results that will create healthier, fairer futures.

At the General Council meeting in June 2021, we bid farewell Policy Advisor and former Director Clive Needle, who helped to establish EuroHealthNet, and worked with the organisation for almost 20 years.

In the past year we also said farewell to our Senior Communications Coordinator, Alexandra Latham and our Communications Assistant, Kathi Yacoub.

We welcomed four new staff members: Samuele Tonello as Policy and Research Officer, Gabriella Sutton as Practice and Policy Officer, Ruth Thomas as Communications Officer, and Caoimhe Kelly as Communications Assistant.

We have worked with several external suppliers over the last year and are very grateful for their support. Frédéric Demaude provides accountancy services and RSM carries out financial audits. Alka provides IT support. Wim Vandersleyen and Graviteit provide graphic design whilst PurplePlanet and JordacheWD provide web design. We have also worked with Catch Creative for video design.


Building health promoting systems fit for the future

EuroHealthNet Annual Report June 2021-June 2022


Who can become a member?

Full membership is open to accountable public bodies with responsibilities and/or expertise in public health, health promotion, health inequalities, disease prevention, or other relevant fields. They are mostly national, regional, or local institutes, authorities, and government departments.

To allow non-statutory bodies such as universities, non-governmental and civil society organisations, and other international networks to become part of EuroHealthNet, the Associate Membership category was developed. Associate Members can become part of one or more platforms.

To find out about become a Member of EuroHealthNet, or about many of the other ways to become involved in our work, contact EuroHealthNet's Management Officer.

Join us

EuroHealthNet welcomes organisations and bodies that share our vision of a fairer, healthier, and sustainable future and who are working on the determinants of health and/or inequalities.

Interested in working together?

Our work would not be possible without the continued commitment and support of Members and Associate Members, and the European Commission’s EaSI and ESF+ Programmes. Thanks to you, we are delivering results that will create healthier, fairer futures.


Building health promoting systems fit for the future

EuroHealthNet Annual Report June 2021-June 2022

Join us!

Learn more about being a Member of EuroHealthNet.

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