Skip to main content

Have we failed to protect Europe's people? The case for a European Health Union.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grip the continent, it is hard to deny that our collective failings during the crisis have been massive. Fault lines in the current model of European collaboration are standing out starkly again in the struggle for timely and equitable vaccine roll-outs.

The initiative for a European Health Union (EHU) is calling for more, and better Europe amidst this crisis – a renewed concentration on our shared core values, and a commitment to vest into the EU the necessary powers to sustainably secure better health for all. This webinar in the series Towards a European Health Union, hosted by the EHU Initiative and facilitated by the European Health Forum Gastein, will take an unflinching look at what is going wrong, and how we can get it right in the future. 

Join us to discuss how a European Health Union can protect people, save lives, and change our current course for the better! We look forward to your input - submit your questions for the panel during the webinar using the Q&A function or e-mail us at before the event.

To learn more about the Initiative and sign the EHU Manifesto, head over to the European Health Union website.


Start: 11 March 2021
End: 11 March 2021
European Health Forum Gastein

Online event


Vytenis Andriukaitis

Special Envoy for the European Region
World Health Organization
Vytenis Andriukaitis
  • Vytenis Andriukaitis

    Dr Vytenis Andriukaitis is the WHO Special Envoy for the European Region, as well as former European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety (2014-2019) and former Minister of Health of Lithuania & Member of the Lithuanian Parliament for six mandates. He led the Lithuanian delegation to the Convention on the Future of Europe. 

    Read more

Vesna-Kerstin Petric

Head of Division for Health Promotion and Prevention of Non-communicable Diseases
Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia
Vesna-Kerstin Petric
  • Vesna-Kerstin Petric

    Vesna-Kerstin Petric, Dr, is currently Head of Division for Health Promotion and Prevention of Non-communicable Diseases at the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia. She graduated in Medicine at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia and earned a Masters Degree in Public Health and Clinical Aspects of Addiction at University of London, King's College, Institute of Psychiatry. Dr Vesna-Kerstin Petric has an extensive national and international experience in working on public health policies and a proven track record of leadership on politically demanding health issues. She has established a coalition of partners in support to tobacco control in Slovenia and since then successfully contributed as a civil servant to the adoption of restrictive tobacco control policies including ban on smoking in all closed places (2007) and plain packaging (2017).

    Read more

Tamara Hervey

Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Law
University of Sheffield
Tamara Hervey
  • Tamara Hervey

    Tamara Hervey, LLB PhD FAcSS PFHEA MFPH is Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Law at the University of Sheffield, UK, and will take up a post at The City Law School, City, University of London on 1 April 2021. A ‘founding mother’ of European Union health law, she has been working in the field since the 1990s, including with many academics and health policy sector actors across the EU and beyond. She has published over 100 books, articles, comments and notes on the subject.

    Read more

Anita Simonds

European Respiratory Society
Anita Simonds
  • Anita Simonds

    Anita K Simonds MD, FRCP, FERS is President of the European Respiratory Society, and Professor of Respiratory & Sleep Medicine at National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College. She is Health Professionals' representative on the European Medicines Agency Covid Task Force for regulation of coronavirus vaccines and drugs. She was educational work package lead for the PREPARE EU research project on pandemic preparedness, and has worked frontline during the pandemic managing patients with severe covid on ventilatory support. She is co-investigator for the Recovery-RS trial of respiratory support in covid -19 pneumonia.


    Read more

Mattia de’ Grassi

Member of the Cabinet of Vice President (2019-2024) Democracy and Demography Dubravka Šuica
European Commission
Mattia de’ Grassi
  • Mattia de’ Grassi

    Member of Cabinet of European Commission Vice-President Dubravka Šuica, in charge of Democracy and Demography. Coordinator for the work on the Conference on the Future of Europe. Former speechwriter of the President at the European Parliament, team leader and policy officer in different Commission services. Engineer by background, obtained a Ph.D. in industrial economics. Before joining the European institutions, has worked as assistant professor, researcher and consultant, launched two start-ups and a non-profit organisation focusing on youth charity projects.

    Read more

Moderation: Nick Fahy

Senior researcher
University of Oxford
Moderation: Nick Fahy
  • Moderation: Nick Fahy

    Nick Fahy is a senior researcher at the University of Oxford and a consultant in health policy and systems, looking at how health systems work; what we can learn between countries; and how to bring about constructive change in health systems. He has over twenty years of experience in European health policy, including ten years in the Health and Consumers Directorate-General of the European Commission where he led work on cancer, rare diseases and cross-border care.  Before joining the Commission, Nick worked in the Department of Health in the UK, and was chief of staff to two ministers.

    Read more


European Health Union Initiative

The European Health Union Initiative calls for more EU in health – and more health in the EU.

Detected timezone