A gateway to help you to better make sense of the EU’s capacity in framing public health across its 28 Member States. This Guide provides a wealth of links so, whatever your area of interest is, you can further explore by visiting the right website page.

The European Union (EU) plays an important role in setting the foundations that empower people to lead a healthy, fruitful life. Whilst the 28 Member States retain autonomy over their national health policies, Brussels is able to set minimum standards through a wide range of public health instruments. However, these tools, used to steer public health in Europe, are as numerous as they are intertwined.

This guide is designed to equip the reader with two strong skills – the ability to understand the role of the EU in shaping public health across the continent; and the capacity to identify the various areas in which Brussels works to advance everyone’s well-being.

You can get the whole Guide below (86 pages) or download the parts that interest you the most:


. What is public health?

. Historical background

. Current legislative basis: EU ‘Lisbon’ Treaty and the Charter of Fundamental Rights

. Who makes Health Policies?

. Specialist Health Agencies

. How do the different actors work together?

. EU Health Strategy (2008-2013)

. Reducing Health Inequalities

. Healthy lifestyles

. Quality Health Systems, Services Education and Care Children and young people

. Europe, Health and the Union’s Internal Market

. Social, Cohesion and Work Policies

. Health and Environment

. Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

. Global Health

. Funds provided by DG SANCO and its Executive Agency for Health and Consumers

. Funds provided by European Commission Directorate General Research and Innovation

. Other Programmes

. Third Action Programme for Public Health 2014 – 2020

. Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020

Last modified on December 9 2013.