Healthy, resilient and stable societies: multifaceted challenges, cross-cutting solutions

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Sustainable Livelihoods
Healthy, resilient and stable societies: Multifaceted challenges, cross-cutting solutions


Health systems across Europe face a wide range of serious challenges. Reforms to improve the overall functioning of our health systems need to consider shifting demographic trends, incorporate pioneering technological developments, and recognise the strong nexus between health and environmental resilience.

The role of health policy in the EU has changed profoundly in the last few years. The COVID-19 pandemic helped to underscore the reality that infectious diseases and health emergencies must be tackled through a cross-cutting approach and cannot be de-coupled from environmental and climate considerations. Accelerating demographic shifts in Europe amplifies these issues and adds a layer of complexity that policymakers have yet to grasp.

Multifaceted challenges require cross-cutting solutions.

There is great potential to improve the efficiency and processes in public health by taking advantage of data science, Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and digital solutions while also striving for new forms of low-carbon health infrastructure and biopharmaceutical innovation. Turning this innovation potential into reality will nonetheless require the definition of a clear path of shared responsibilities between the public and private sectors and stronger collaboration among thought leaders across the spectrum.

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Welcome and registration
PARALLEL ROUNDTABLES - What if you could make it anew? Re-designing healthcare in Europe
Expand PARALLEL ROUNDTABLES - What if you could make it anew? Re-designing healthcare in Europe

A range of remarkable advancements, fast-paced medical breakthroughs, and the
accelerating power of Artificial Intelligence and digital innovation has revolutionised
medicine. If we had the chance to re-design our healthcare systems from scratch,
how would we build them to adapt, take advantage of and foresee the challenges of
the 21st century?

This set of 3 parallel briefings will feature short and inspiring conversations.

SESSION I - Reframing healthcare: competitiveness and innovation for social good
Expand SESSION I - Reframing healthcare: competitiveness and innovation for social good

Health has no borders, yet our ‘European Health Union’ is not fully integrated. Across the EU, we see unequal access to healthcare. Geographic origin and socioeconomic status still represent crucial elements defining patients’ capacity to be treated fairly and efficiently in a system that is not always suited to their needs. Providing access to innovative treatments and technologies, in areas such as immuno-oncology and cell therapy, will be paramount to improve wellbeing in Europe.

The complex and interconnected challenges that Europe faces today require a
collective effort to halt the ongoing decline of pharmaceutical innovation, strengthen
the efforts in research and development, and take advantage of emerging digital
technologies and data in health solutions. While these technological advancements
will accelerate innovation, transform the speed of public healthcare delivery and
reduce waste in the system, innovators will have the responsibility to develop and
deploy solutions that are both clinically safe and environmentally sustainable.

Europe is home to industry leaders who are delivering significant advancements in
biotechnology, health and pharmaceutical breakthroughs, but there continues to be a lag that affects how these innovations are brought to market. Improving the European innovation landscape is essential to improve European competitiveness as it bolsters quality of life, economic performances due to increased productivity and cost savings, and crisis preparedness, while also providing patients with access to cutting-edge healthcare technologies and medications. Addressing this lag is Europe’s chance to make competitiveness work for the social good by directly impacting the well-being of communities and the resilience of the workforce.

Questions for consideration include:

  • If Europe’s future is to be science-led how can we work together to ensure we
    can live better for longer?
  • How do we ensure healthcare sustainability by leaning into innovation?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities of advancing healthcare innovation in Europe? How can we make sure that science plays a central role in the policies of the next European Mandate?
Sandwich and Coffee Break
SESSION II - Integrating our approach: climate change and public health
Expand SESSION II - Integrating our approach: climate change and public health

The pandemic underscored the reality that, in general, health emergencies should be
tackled through an intra-institutional, collaborative and cross-cutting approach. In
the last few years, healthcare systems have been under strain to face these challenges while simultaneously having to decarbonise, adapt to resource depletion, and innovate to sustain themselves and deliver quality care to those in need. In 2019, a Health Care Without Harm report calculated that healthcare’s total carbon footprint is equivalent to the fifth largest emitter on the planet. At the same time, climate change is a human health threat. As global temperatures rise, so do the human health risks from extreme weather events, heat stress, droughts, flooding, and the evolution of climate-sensitive diseases.

There is an opportunity for the next EU mandate to progress on the integration of
health policy into its environmental and climate objectives. For example, digital
innovation and increased circularity in the medical technology sector can both
support the EU’s transition to climate neutrality and improve the quality and
efficiency of public health, reinforcing the nexus between health and climate

Questions for consideration include:

  • How can health policy find a home in the European Green Deal?
  • Are European stakeholders understanding the co-benefits of climate action for
    public health in Europe? What do citizens have to say on this?
  • Are there misconceptions about costs and patient safety when it comes to
    decarbonisation in the medical sector?
End of Summit


Tomislav Sokol
Tomislav Sokol

Member of the European Parliament and rapporteur on the European Health Data Space (EHDS) and shadow rapporteur on the Revision of the EU pharmaceutical legislation

Show more information on Tomislav Sokol

At the European Parliament, Tomislav Sokol serves as the European People’s Party (EPP) Coordinator in the Committee on Public Health (SANT) and Vice-Coordinator in Special Committee on the COVID-19 pandemic: lessons learned and recommendations for the future (COVI). He also sits on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), among others. Currently, Sokol is the main rapporteur for the European Health Data Space and EPP shadow rapporteur for pharmaceutical legislation (regulation). Prior to Brussels, he was a member of the Croatian parliament and an assistant minister in the Ministry of Science and Education. Sokol’s areas of professional interest include the law of the European common market, as well as health, competition, social and trade law. 



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