Health inequalities: Europe

What do we know about health inequalities in Europe?

Health inequalities exist both within and between European countries. Despite improvements in overall health and life expectancy in most of Europe, health inequalities have remained. In the case of the new Eastern European member states, there has been significant worsening of health inequalities in recent years.

It is in this context that the European Commission adopted a communication on Solidarity in Health: Reducing Health Inequalities in the European Union in October 2009. The Communication sets out actions that the European Commission will take to address health inequalities including a commitment to collaboration with national authorities, assessment of the impact of EU policies on health inequalities and the development of better health intelligence on inequalities in the EU and on successful strategies to reduce them.

Health inequalities and Europe: the IPH portfolio

EU and health equity: completion of the DETERMINE project.

DETERMINE is a EC programme developed to achieve greater awareness and capacity amongst decision-makers to take health and health equity into consideration when developing policy. IPH led one of the work packages in this project which aimed to strengthen knowledge on policies and actions addressing the social determinants of health inequalities. This included a focus on economic arguments. The three year EU-funded project concluded with a conference in April 2010.

How can I learn more about health inequalities in Europe?