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Being in good health is one of the main concerns of European citizens. The European Union (EU) is therefore striving to attain a higher level of health protection through all European policies and activities, in accordance with Article 168 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). In particular, EU policy on health matters aims to improve public health, prevent diseases and threats to health (including those related to the lifestyles of European citizens), and combat major health scourges by promoting research. Community action complements national policies, and the Union encourages cooperation between Member States in the field of health.
However, defining national health policies remains an exclusive competence belonging to Member States. Consequently, EU action shall not include the definition of health policies, nor the organisation and provision of health services and medical care.
European health policy therefore consists of developing a shared competence with Member States and complementing national policies. The EU and Member States may also cooperate with third countries and competent international organisations.
European health strategy
Programmes and initiatives
Threats to health
Communicable diseases, Blood and human tissue, Antimicrobial agents
Health determinants: lifestyle
Tobacco, Alcohol, Nutrition and physical activity, Mental health
Health determinants: environment
Socio-economic health determinants, Environment, Electromagnetic fields, Genetics and screening
- Further information: the Public Health website of the Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General of the European Commission.