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United action for better health in Europe. Draft European Programme of Work, 2020–2025

By the WHO


This draft of the European Programme of Work, 20202025 (EPW) – “United action for betterhealth in Europe” was developed with the endorsement of the Twenty-seventh Standing Committee of the Regional Committee for Europe.

The EPW starts from what citizens in the WHO European Region expect their health authorities to do. People want their authorities to guarantee universal access to quality care without fear of impoverishment; they want them to offer effective protection against health emergencies; and they want to be able to thrive in healthy communities, where public health actions and appropriate public policies secure a better life in an economy of well-being. Citizens increasingly and rightly hold their health authorities to account for meeting those expectations.

The EPW sets out a vision of how the WHO Regional Office for Europe can help MemberStates’ health authorities rise to that challenge, in each country and collectively in the WHO European Region. The COVID-19 pandemic that has hit the Region so fiercely mandates definite course corrections, which are integrated in this draft.

The EPW is not an exhaustive enumeration of the Regional Office’s normative and technicalwork. Rather, it focuses on those aspects that constitute a departure from a mere continuation of business as usual, given the radically changed context under which WHO will operate in the coming years. Given the state of flux in which European health care systems are, in this peculiar period, the draft EPW should be seen as a live document that will require regular updates.

While recognizing that every WHO region has its particular challenges, opportunities and priorities, the EPW is intended to demonstrate how the work of the WHO Regional Office for Europe can best contribute to the global vision set out in WHO’s Thirteenth GeneralProgramme of Work and to preparation of the Fourteenth General Programme of Work. It seeksto align the work of the Regional Office with the “triple billion” targets, while also taking intoaccount the roadmap to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

A timeline of external and WHO internal consultations has been set. It is proposed that the draft document be presented to the WHO Regional Committee for Europe at its 70th session for endorsement.



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