Thank you to the European Public Health Alliance for inviting the European Economic and Social Committee to this conference. I am proud to see the tremendous work done by civil society organisations in guiding decision-makers to make the right policy choices. I hope that the European Charter for Health Equity will be another step towards a more cohesive Europe. The scale of differences in health of people living challenges solidarity and equal opportunities in the EU. How is it possible that differences in life expectancy vary by almost 10 years between some countries?