Plenary programme 14th EPH Conference 2021

Opening Ceremony: Public health futures in a changing world

Wednesday 10 November 2021, 14:00 – 14:40 CET

Moderators: Anthony Staines, Chair of the 14th EPH Conference 2021 and Regien Biesma-Blanco, Chair of the International Scientific Committee 2021

This session is the official opening session of the conference. European public health has had a difficult year. Across Europe the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic has not been entirely successful despite an enormous amount of hard work in public health units all across Europe. The past year has shown that we need to identify futures for our discipline. If we don’t, others will, and that is not necessarily for the benefit of our practice, our practitioners, or the public. If we are to be more than well trained technicians perhaps we need to articulate more forcibly who we are, why we are, and why we are relevant? 


  • Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, European Commission
  • Stephen Donnelly, Minister of Health, Ireland
  • Robin Swann, Minister of Health, Northern Ireland

More information

Plenary 1: Public health practice, training and workforces for the future - Lessons from the pandemic

Wednesday 10 November 2021, 14:50 – 15:50 CET

Organised by European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, WHO Regional Office for Europe, ASPHER

Moderator: Josep Figueras, Director European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies

The evidence base for this session will be a study by WHO Europe and the Observatory analyzing how well public health has responded to the pandemic. How did European countries perform in fighting the pandemic? Young professional will reflect from different perspectives: public health workforce skills and training, health equity, working across sectors, the role of social media. We will look into the future of our discipline: what is that we do well? What value do we bring? What skills do we need for now and for the future? 

Speakers/panellists to be confirmed.

More information

Plenary 2: Communication and public health

Thursday 11 November 2021, 10:10 – 11:10 CET

Organised by EUPHA, EUPHA Public health monitoring and reporting section 

Moderators: Iveta Nagyova, President European Public Health Association (EUPHA) and Petronille Bogaert, President EUPHA Public health monitoring and reporting section

A key component of effective public health actions is communication. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of communication to maintain public trust and to support actions to mitigate the impact of the virus. Health communication is essential for addressing the infodemic, an overabundance of information that occurs during an epidemic,  and for effective and sustainable behavior change during such a pandemic. This plenary highlights current challenges and opportunities for public health communication with a focus on infodemic management and behavioural sciences.


More information


Plenary 3: Learning from the pandemic and getting ready for the next one

Thursday 11 November 2021, 16:20 – 17:20 CET

Organised by European Commission, EUPHA 

Moderators: Isabel de la Mata, European Commision and Dineke Zeegers Paget, EUPHA

COVID-19 has shown us that most countries were not focusing their emergency preparedness plans in the correct direction. Preparedness plans were conceived only for health events that are more explosive in initiation and resolution. Governments of a wide range of the political spectrum failed to address the pandemic effectively. So, what can we learn from our successes and from our failures? In this session we ask panellists to reflect on the successes and failures and for their ideas on how to be better prepared for future pandemics. 


  • Andrea Ammon, Director European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
  • Sandra Gallina, Director-General Health and Food Safety, European Commission
  • Michael Edelstein, President EUPHA Infectious diseases control section
  • Laura de la Torre Perez, Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), Spain

More information

Plenary 4: Capturing the breadth and depth of the digital health era – beyond the COVID-19 pandemic

Friday 12 November 2021, 10:10 – 11:10 CET

Organised by WHO Regional Office for Europe, EUPHA Digital health section

Moderators: Natasha Azzopardi Muscat, WHO Regional Office for Europe and Anna Odone, President EUPHA Digital health section

Digitalization is permeating all aspects of society, how can be it employed to sustain the public health goals of quality, accessibility, efficiency and equity in health care and prevention now and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic? In this session jointly presented by WHO Europe and EUPHA, we examine the extent to which technology is contributing positively or negatively to strengthening the resilience of health systems and empowering individuals and communities. 


  • Michael O'Flaherty, Director European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)
  • Iveta Nagyova, President European Public Health Association (EUPHA)
  • Naomi Lee, Senior Executive Editor The Lancet
  • Ran Balicer, Chief Innovation Officer, Clalit Health Services, Israel

More information

Plenary 5: Climate change, justice and public health

Friday 12 November 2021, 16:20 – 17:20 CET

Organised by EuroHealthNet

Moderator: Caroline Costongs, Director EuroHealthNet

On the closing day of the UN Climate Change Conference 2021 (COP26), this plenary will discuss the four COP26 goals of “Mitigation, Adaptation, Finance and Collaboration”, exploring how health and equity can be further mainstreamed within these climate actions. It aims both to inform and to inspire, raising awareness about the interconnected challenges we are facing as well as discussing solutions and actions at different levels that we all can be a part of to ensure the transformational change that is needed. 


  • Maria Neira, Director Public Health, Environment and Social Determinants of Health Department, World Health Organization
  • Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director European Environment Agency
  • Monica Scatasta, Director, Technical Assessment and Monitoring, Council of Europe Development Bank 
  • Clara Mayer, climate activist from Berlin, Germany 

More information

Closing Ceremony of the 14th European Public Health Conference

Friday 12 November 2021, 17:30 – 18:10 CET

Moderator: Anthony Staines, Chair of the 14th EPH Conference 2021

Awards ceremony: Best Poster Prize, Best Abstract Prize, Ferenc Bojan Award

Welcome to next year's 15th European Public Health Conference, Berlin, Germany


  • Cecily Kelleher, Chair of Public Health Medicine and Epidemiology, University College Dublin, Ireland
  • Reinhard Busse, Chair of the 15th EPH Conference 2022


The Plenary Programme is organised by:

  • EuroHealthNet
  • European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies
  • European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
  • European Commission
  • WHO Regional Office for Europe