Building bridges for solidarity and public health

Bridges are at the heart of the European idea. They have enabled the people of this continent to come together, crossing historic and geographical frontiers but they are not just physical structures and can take many less tangible forms.

Public health has always been a mix of activities, ranging from the prevention of diseases to the evaluation of health systems, from science to decision making, from practice to evaluation and communication.  As a consequence, public health professionals constitute a diverse community. Building bridges among professionals is a challenge but is also common practice as shown by the annual gatherings at the EPH Conferences.

In the last decades, health is regarded more and more as a wide societal concern and the public health community is building bridges with professionals from other domains of society: food, transport, social services, environment and others. European public health must also extend the bridges beyond Europe. Marseille has for centuries been one of the pillars of the cultural and economic bridge across the Mediterranean. For millenniums, people have been crossing the Mediterranean but, in recent years, that journey has been characterized by tragedies among those fleeing oppression and poverty.

The Marseille conference offers an opportunity to build new bridges: of working together between the public health communities in Europe and Africa, seeking solutions to our shared challenges as inhabitants of a small planet now facing global threats, from climate change, emerging infections, and the global epidemic of non-communicable diseases. But inevitably, much of our discussion will focus on migration and should address the following questions:

  • What can we do together to reduce the need for people to move?
  • How can we protect and support those who are forced to move?
  • What can we do to provide health promoting and protecting environments for migrants in Europe and the countries they cross on their way to Europe?
  • How can we work together on those issues engaging professionals from both side of the Mediterranean?

Plenary sessions

Through the plenary sessions, this vision is further explored. Plenary sessions are organised around the following themes:

  • Building bridges for migration in a planetary context
  • Health as a tool for better integration of migrants
  • Bridging for an interdisciplinary approach to public health to implement the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Migrant and refugee inequalities in urban settings and changing public health practice
  • Building global bridges between public health communities

Plenary sessions are organised in collaboration with our partners: EUPHA, EuroHealthNet, ASPHER, EHMA, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, European Commission, WHO Regional Office for Europe. 

Plenary sessions