Finland will hold the presidency of the European Union between July and December 2006. In agreement with their Austrian predecessor, Finland will maintain the EU focus on a set of common issues. But Helsinki has also identified specific themes they will want to prioritise during their mandate: The integration of health policies with all other sectors, active ageing and health in the working life.
Finland acknowledges that health is mainly determined by decisions taken outside the health care sector, and presents an opportunity to explore how to invest in health in all policies and at work, combining approaches of health protection, health promotion and occupational health. The European Union has a clear mandate and role to protect and promote health in all its policies. Within the framework of article 152 of the EU Treaty which give the European Union a clear mandate of health protection and promotion in all policies, Helsinki will play a particular attention to active ageing and the importance of a healthier work environment.
Key Legislative agenda points with a particular interest for men’s health
- Green Paper Alcohol strategy of the European Union
- Result of the Green Paper on Mental Health
- Strategy on Diet and physical activity, following responses to the Green Paper on nutrition, diet and physical activity
- Public Health Programme for Community Action (2007-2013)
- A high level conference on mainstreaming health into other policy areas will take place in Kuopio on 20-21 September 2006.
- Helsinki 5-6 October, a conference on Men and Gender Equality, during which Prof. Alan White from the European Men’s Health Forum will contribute to a debate on gender mainstreaming in health policies.
More information on the Finnish presidency website here. (Please note that the public heath section of this website was not available at the time of publication of this article.)