Building resilience in times of change

EuroHealthNet Annual Report
June 2021-June 2022

4. Practice

4. Practice

The aim of the Practice Platform is to strengthen the capacities, competency and knowledge of public health bodies and professionals to promote health and reduce health inequalities. For this we organise opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, capacity building and international exchange


Building bridges between public health authorities and organisations in social, digital, educational and environmental sectors, has been a key part of our work this year. Our participation in European project consortia, project coordination and implementation, and facilitation of country exchanges, enables us to contribute to initiatives that can reduce health inequalities, improve wellbeing and build resilience.

Building capacity to respond to shared societal challenges

Building capacity to respond to shared societal challenges


During the past twelve months, we have engaged in the following activities to build the knowledge and capacity of our members on a range of issues.

Country exchange on addressing child health inequalities through the European Child Guarantee

Investing in child health and wellbeing is crucial for a resilient, socially just, and healthy Europe. In September 2021, EuroHealthNet organised a five-day online country exchange event which focussed on child health inequalities. It provided a discussion platform for child health experts from sixteen member organisations to explore ways to improve child wellbeing and take forward the European Child Guarantee.

In September 2021, EuroHealthNet organised an online Country Exchange on child health inequalities. (Click to enlarge)
In September 2021, EuroHealthNet organised an online Country Exchange on child health inequalities. (Click to enlarge)

Country exchange on climate change and health: what are public health authorities doing and how can we work together?

This online exchange provided the opportunity to learn about developments in the EuroHealthNet Partnership in relation to climate change. Twelve member organisations, as well as representatives of WHO European Centre for Environment and Health, discussed how each could support one another in efforts to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, in ways that benefit health and contribute to reducing inequalities.

Report of the Country Exchange Visit on climate change and health.
Prof. Dr. Plamen Dimitrov

 Director, National Centre of Public Health and Analyses, Bulgaria

Across Europe, public health professionals are working on innovative and effective practices to address the determinants of health, promote health and wellbeing and improve health equity. EuroHealthNet’s value lies in bringing together these professionals to discuss common issues and share tools and solutions, resulting in more evidence-based and holistic approaches to achieve our collective aims.

  • Prof. Plamen Dimitrov, EuroHealthNet Executive Board Member, and Director of the Bulgarian National Center of Public Health and Analyses

Country Exchange Visit on social prescribing and other strategies to promote health in the community – Lisbon, Portugal

Social prescribing can transform the way a person is supported by professional sectors and their community. This Country Exchange Visit, hosted by the National Institute of Health Doutor Ricardo Jorge (INSA) took place in Portugal between 4-5 May 2022. The event focused on how national and regional public health agencies work to improve people’s ability to adapt, self-manage their health and become more resilient to external stressors.

The participants discussed examples of social prescribing and other health promoting primary care strategies to explore what are political, financial and practical enablers to better connect community, primary health care and social services to improve health and prevent disease.

Capacity building on positive health in the community

Positive health is an emerging concept and a promising innovative approach to improve health and equity. In June 2021, EuroHealthNet and the Institute of Positive Health organised a capacity-building workshop to explore similarities and differences in approaches and objectives of organisations working towards a more ‘holistic’ approach to health through a focus on Positive Health, community and primary health care, health promotion and prevention.

On 22 June EuroHealthNet organised an invitational capacity-building workshop with the Institute for Positive Health. (Click to enlarge)

Expanding knowledge on action for health equity, vaccination, and work and skills

Expanding knowledge on action for health equity, vaccination and work and skills

EuroHealthNet is connected to many relevant and important EU initiatives and projects to develop new knowledge and encourage the exchange of intelligence in several key policy areas for health equity.


JAHEE - The Joint Action on Health Equity

The Joint Action Health Equity Europe (JAHEE) was a three-year partnership of over twenty-four countries which came together to strengthen capacities in reducing health inequalities, implementing over 80 actions to address self-identified gaps in their respective national contexts. JAHEE was coordinated by the Italian Institute Superiore de Salut (ISS) and many of the JAHEE partners were also members of the EuroHealthNet partnership. The Joint Action came to an end in November 2021.

4.3.1 JAHEE-Logo-1-250x375

EuroHealthNet provided support in the development of the JAHEE Consensus Statement which sets out the final conclusions of the JAHEE partnership on what can be done to improve capacities in policy responses to reduce health inequalities within and between countries in Europe, drawing on partners’ experiences and findings. This document was accompanied by an overview report of JAHEE’s promising actions which provided a fuller account of the actions included in the Consensus Statement, illustrating how the participating authorities could ‘do something’, ‘do better’ or ‘do more’ in each area, depending on their respective contexts and starting points, to ‘build back fairer’. All of JAHEE's resources will soon be made publicly available. 

EuroHealthNet Director Caroline Costongs opens the JAHEE pre-conference on addressing health inequalities in Europe during the 2021 European Public Health Conference. (Click to enlarge)
EuroHealthNet Director Caroline Costongs opens the JAHEE pre-conference on addressing health inequalities in Europe during the 2021 European Public Health Conference. (Click to enlarge)

On 10 November 2021, EuroHealthNet moderated the pre-conference of the 14th European Public Health Conference on “Addressing Health Inequalities in Europe: lessons learned and key messages from the Joint Action Health Equity Europe”, which brought together experts and researchers from various backgrounds. We also participated during the JAHEE General Assembly on 16 November, to present an overview of the JAHEE consensus document.

                Raffaella Bucciardini - Director of Health Equity Unit, Italian National Institute of Health (ISS), Italy

With its extensive knowledge of health equity and experience in sharing and transferring expertise and good practices across countries, EuroHealthNet has been a truly invaluable partner in the Joint Action on Health Inequalities (JAHEE). We look forward to opportunities to build on the momentum and learnings from our Joint Action together with the EuroHealthNet Partnership.

  • Raffaella Bucciardini, EuroHealthNet Executive Board Member and Head of Operative Unit Health Equity ISS – HEISS, Istituto Superiore di Sanità/ Institute of Health (Italy)


EuroHealthNet is coordinating a project on vaccination funded by the European Commission’s 3rd Health Programme. IMMUNION (Improving IMMUnisation cooperation in the European UNION) works to deliver better vaccine education to health professionals and better information to the public. It runs between March 2021-March 2023.


The project works in close collaboration with the co-chairs of the Coalition for Vaccination, as well as with several EuroHealthNet members and observers (the Italian National Institute of Health, the Romanian National Institute of Public Health, the Latvian Center for Disease Prevention and Control, and the PROLEPSIS Institute of Preventive Medicine, Environmental and Occupational Health in Greece).


EU-JAV - The Joint Action on Vaccination and Cross-Project Collaboration of Vaccine Projects

Established in 2018 by twenty partners across Europe (including six EuroHealthNet members), the European Joint Action on Vaccination (EU-JAV) wrapped up its activities with a final conference in March 2022. EuroHealthNet is a member of the EU-JAV Stakeholders Forum, and participated in the EU-JAV Info Day, high-level stakeholder consultations, and served as a panellist during the final conference, discussing the value of cross-border collaboration.

4.3.3 EU-JAV-Logo_300x200-300x200


EuroHealthNet is an evaluator of the new Dialogical-Work project (2022-2024) funded by the Erasmus+ programme. The project aims to promote integrated approaches in governance models within public settings. In particular, the project responds to the challenges of aligning the competencies of health, social and education professionals to the evolving complex needs in changing societies. It will provide professionals and other actors the skills needed to work in an inter-sectoral environment to face multiple societal challenges in a coordinated way.


Member outreach meetings

Member outreach meetings


In 2021-2022, EuroHealthNet continued to expand its partnership and explore opportunities for outreach work, focussing on both current members, as well as prospective members and wider European networks.


The interviews that EuroHealthNet conducted with members in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain, in the context of the Resilience and Recovery Plans provided an opportunity to explore whether the EU and its members states are seizing the opportunity to apply the available recovery-oriented funds to ‘build back’, in ways that systematically, structurally, and sustainably strengthen health, equity and wellbeing.

Other outreach visits

Building health promoting systems fit for the future

EuroHealthNet Annual Report June 2021-June 2022

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