In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Union is gearing up to create a real Health Union. It aims at making the EU future-proof for health crises to come, at protecting the health of Europeans and, even more importantly, at responding to cross-border health crises in a collective way.
Many questions, however, remain open: in its current project, the Health Union focuses mainly on health security – but what about tackling the factors that determine good or bad health and actively promoting health? As it stands, the Health Union sees ‘health’ as something that is purely about physical health – but what about mental ill-health, which, in the EU, amounts to a hidden pandemic? One project of the Health Union is a European Health Data Space – but what about all those citizens, who do not have access to digital tools, or who simply lack the ability and the competencies to use them properly?
A Health Union is certainly a necessity – but one that tackles only some aspects of the problem would be a missed opportunity. With this dossier, the Progressive Post aims at highlighting a few aspects that need to be included in the future Health Union in order to make it relevant for all citizens.