The political processes in the EU are closely linked to the wider developments at WHO Europe level: for example, the Environment and Health Action Plan (EHAP) was presented as the EU’s contribution at the Fourth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health in Budapest in 2004.
This WHO process has also encouraged international discussions and agreements in other regions of the world, such as the Children’s Environment and Health Action Plan CEHAPE.
HEAL and our member organisations have been active in this process from its beginning. HEAL serves as the health sector representative on the European Environment and Health Committee EEHC, which brings together representatives of the ministries of environment and health as well as stakeholders.
The Fifth WHO European Ministerial meeting (March 2010) agreed a new institutional framework for the process and timelines. A new Environment and Health Ministerial Board EHMB will be created, which has the potential to bring more political weight to pressing environment and health issues.
HEAL will continue to serve in the Environment and Health Task Force, but urges governments to grant observer status to stakeholders in the EHMB.