Solidarity in health: reducing health inequalities in the EU

Key points

The principle of HIAP (Health In All Policies) should become a reality in all EU policies and the Commission should evaluate and check its measures, if all policy areas contribute to a high level of health protection and reduction health inequalities.

The EESC supports the importance of the Member States and the Commission agreeing on a set of comparable indicators and measurable targets within a relevant timeframe and urges the Commission and the Member States to develop new indicators to monitor health inequalities and a methodology to audit the situation in the Member States.

The EESC calls on all Member States to participate in the Commission's plans to improve the data and knowledge base and the mechanisms for measuring, monitoring and reporting health inequalities.

Creating a pattern of overall economic and social development, leading to greater economic growth and better social justice, as well as greater solidarity, cohesion and health should be addressed as a priority in the Europe 2020 Strategy.

The Committee urges the Commission and the Member States to deploy the necessary resources to combat all social inequalities particularly in terms of education, urban planning and purchasing power.

Efforts to combat health inequalities in rural areas must be stepped up, particularly in view of the challenges presented by demographic change.

The Commission should evaluate the impact of existing European platforms and fora (nutrition, alcohol, etc.) on vulnerable groups.

The Committee invites the Commission and the Member States to reconsider the series of EESC recommendations made in the past opinions relating to health and social issues.