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Alzheimer Europe signs EU4Health response to EU’s Sustainable Development Goals reflection paper

Thursday 07 February 2019

In September 2015, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were adopted by world leaders at the UN. EU Member States and the EU Commission have committed themselves to achieving the global goals. As part of the debate on the future of Europe launched in March 2017, the Commission published a reflection paper: “Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030” on 30 January 2019.

The reflection paper puts forward three scenarios to stimulate the discussion on how best to deliver the SDGs within the EU. The paper also notes that the scenarios are only illustrative in nature and intend to promote discussion. The three scenarios are:

  1. An overarching EU SDGs strategy guiding the actions of the EU and its Member States.
  2. A continued mainstreaming of the SDGs in all relevant EU policies by the Commission but not enforcing Member States' action.
  3. An enhanced focus on external action while consolidating current sustainability ambition at EU level.

Following this publication, Alzheimer Europe signed a letter as part of the EU4Health group, welcoming the paper, whilst expressing disappointment at the lack of progress towards an implementation plan or measurable goals. The response additionally identifies issues such as underfunding of healthcare systems, alongside increasing demand, inaccessibility of medicines and cuts in social protections, as detrimental to positive health outcomes for EU citizens.

The EU4Health response identifies and supports scenario 1 as the best option to prioritise the issue for the next President of the European Commission, as well as being the only scenario to support Member States achieve their commitments. The response calls for an ambitious and urgent political response to achieve sustainable and patient-centred universal access to healthcare and a reduction of increasing health inequalities.

The response concludes by noting that ensuring the future sustainability of health systems is fundamental to the attainment of most SDGs, particularly those related to the reduction of inequalities, gender equality and elimination of poverty. Health must therefore be regarded as a cross-cutting dimension of the 2030 Agenda and should be addressed as such.

You can read the EU Commission Reflection Paper here:

You can read the full EU4Health response here: