European Global Health Strategy Would Benefit Public Health, Show European Leadership, Promote E.U. Values

The Lancet Global Health: If not now, when? Time for the European Union to define a global health strategy
Elizabeth M. Speakman, research fellow; Martin McKee, professor; and Richard Coker, professor, all at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

“…[I]t has never been so vital for the [European Union (E.U.)] to demonstrate that it is indeed a union, that it is a force for good, and that this positive influence goes beyond Europe’s borders. … A European global health strategy would be a practical step towards ensuring coherence with its substantial global aid program and its economic interests beyond E.U. borders. It would facilitate a clearer, better coordinated response to public health threats, thus dovetailing with the E.U.’s security as well as public health interests. It would be a self-protective measure since the next pandemic is likely to arise from outside Europe. A global health strategy would set clear roles and responsibilities for the different E.U. [director generals] and agencies, accompanied by transparent monitoring and accountability. It would also demonstrate the Union’s authority, expertise, and fundamental integrity. … A prominent E.U. global health strategy would not only benefit global health. It would also show leadership from Europe, promoting the values of which the E.U. is justifiably proud: respect for human dignity and human rights, freedom, democracy, equality, and the rule of law” (April 2017).

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