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An essential check-list for the new EU Global Health Strategy: 16 points that will make it or break it

By 7 November 2022No Comments

The feedback for the European Commission’s public consultation about the renewal of its global health strategy (GHS) is now closed. We have been following this process for a long time: in 2020, our organizations had written, published and shared a shadow GHS to encourage the European Union to review its outdated 2010 framework and to inspire and spur the EU towards a more comprehensive vision and role in global health. This year, we actively engaged in the organisation of the EU Global Health Policy Forum and with subsequent talks with DG INTPA and SANTE. Our goal is to enable the GHS to have the means of its ambitions, to be inclusive, and to leave no one behind. Our contribution highlights different aspects of what we believe to be essential for global health, in terms of funding, access, engagement with communities and stakeholders. Here is a summary of the main points that we put forward:

A meaningful engagement with partners and communities

  • The EU’s global health policy must be informed by the experience and needs of the people on the ground. The EU must hold regular and meaningful dialogue with a diverse range of CSOs and communities based organisations, including local, grassroot, youth- and women-led to contribute to holding the EU and its Member-States accountable to their commitments and to help course-correct where necessary
  • Local CSOs and community-led organisations from partner countries must have the opportunity to participate in the assessment of needs and to implement and evaluate the initiatives from which they benefit. 
  • The EU must hold more regular and technical exchanges addressing thematic policy priorities with its stakeholders
  • This new GHS must be accompanied by an integrated and participatory monitoring, accountability and review framework, including measurable and relevant indicators that allow for consistent reporting on progress: the EU should thus commit to holding timely reporting on the implementation of the GHS

A bigger, better budget for global health

  • Clear political consensus must be built between the EU institutions on the need to drastically increase resources to global health, underscoring the clear economic and human rights case for health investment and the urgency of avoiding competition between global health initiatives
  • The EU needs to reconcile the challenge of investing in immediate health threats and of investing in preventing such health crises. Mapping Team Europe’s initiatives and increasing resources to global health in the EU annual budget, the MFF revision, and Member State budgets, will enable the EU to meet the growing health needs globally
  • The EU must coordinate with its partners and global health stakeholders to mobilize new domestic and innovative financing for health, and to improve access to basic health services and  primary healthcare facilities
  • The EU must dedicate specific funding for populations at higher risk of exclusion from quality healthcare, so as to progress towards Universal Health Coverage

An improved access to medicine and transparency

  • The EU must champion the access of partner countries’ to, and their control over, pharmaceutical technologies and the increase of their R&D and manufacturing capacities 
  • EU actions should focus on capacity building in partner countries, effectively empowering them and reducing their reliance on external aid
  • The EU must systematically promote, support and enforce principles of conditionality, transparency, accountability and access, including in its relations with its partners
  • The EU must consider how global health as a public good does not always align with the private sector’s interests: it must establish safeguards to not compromise its goals, avoid conflicts of interest and avoid subsidizing the private delivery of public goods

A multisectoral and rights-based approach backed-up by a commitment to fairness

  • The EU must integrate how gender intersects with other drivers of inequities and marginalisation, having complex effects on health outcomes. Achieving gender equality and sexual and reproductive health ans rights (SRHR), fighting stigma and all forms of discrimination, removing harmful laws and policies is critical to the realisation of the right to health for all.
  • The EU should favor initiatives and forums that meaningfully include partner countries, community groups and CSOs, and that have demonstrated their efficiency, accountability and capacity for implementation. It should also use its presence in the initiatives’ governing bodies to support the meaningful participation of CSOs and communities in the development and implementation of the initiatives’ policies and strategies
  • In mulitlateral settings, the EU should strengthen efforts to achieve universal health coverage, empower health work forces, and realize health equity
  • The EU must also increasingly speak with one strong voice in relevant UN fora that have an impact on global health policies (eg. the Commission on Population and Development (CPD), the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)…)
Read our joint contribution to the EU Global Health Strategy’s consultation