Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

  • European Commission
  • Programmes
  • Programme of Community action on health promotion, information, education and training within the framework for action in the field of public health, 1996-1999

Programme funding

EUR 35 million

Official Journal Reference

L 95 of 1996-04-16

Legislative Reference

645/96/EC of 1996-03-29
To contribute to the implementation of Treaty objectives relating to the realization of a better level of health protection; to encourage cooperation between the Member States and support their actions in the health domain.


The proposal for a programme of Community action on health promotion, information, education and training is presented in the context of Article 129 of the Treaty on European Union, which gives the Community a role in the area of public health. Under the terms of Article 129, the Community must address itself to the issues of health education and health promotion.

In the general context of the Community's health policy, the actions contained in the programme are targeted at:

- Developing healthy living habits by promoting a responsible attitude vis-a-vis individual determining factors and/or risk factors (alcohol, nutrition, tobacco, hygiene and sexuality, physical exercise, etc.);
- Developing intersectoral and multidisciplinary approaches for health promotion by taking into account the different collective health determining factors (housing conditions, physical environment, educational and health systems, working conditions, etc.);
- Promoting the health promotion approach in the Member States' health policies by supporting different cooperation actions (exchange of experiences, pilot projects, networks, etc.).

The actions envisaged under the programme are intended to complement the efforts of the Member States in this domain and are focused on areas and themes where Community intervention would provide a real added value. Such areas include:

- Cooperation between Member States in the definition of strategies and the exchange of experiences;
- Transnational networks for health promotion, education and training;
- Support for innovative projects.


- Health promotion strategies and structures:
To encourage the evaluation of the impact of health promotion policies and instruments and the development of a health promotion approach in the Member States by promoting the devising and assessment of health promotion strategies and dissemination of best practice;

- Specific prevention and health promotion measures:
To improve knowledge, particularly in conjunction with measures under the BIOMED programme, of the situation and the problem of health promotion in relation to certain risk factors and health determinants and to certain disadvantaged social groups. This activity is also focused on promoting intersectoral and multidisciplinary approaches to health promotion directed at vulnerable or disadvantaged groups;

- Health information:
To improve knowledge of mechanisms for devising health messages and assessing health information methods and encourage an exchange of information and documentation between professionals and those responsible for public health and health promotion policies;

- Health education:
To encourage greater integration of health education in schools, including sex education. Actions under this section also aim at fostering the development and dissemination of the best health education experiments and methods tailored to different contexts (e.g. school, work and leisure) and different target groups (e.g. children, adolescents and workers);

- Vocational training in public health and health promotion:
To help to familiarize the various categories of health staff, those who decide on and administer health policy or action and those in the front line of health promotion (e.g. teachers, educators, social workers) with knowledge, ideas and methods relating to public health, prevention, health promotion, information and education.


The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the actions contained in this programme, assisted by a committee of an advisory nature composed of two representatives of each Member State and chaired by a representative of the Commission.

Community funding is made available to cofinance projects carried out by public, semi-public or private bodies, up to a certain percentage of the total amount of the projects proposed. A budget of ECU 35 million has been proposed to fund these actions. The budgetary authority is responsible for determining the appropriations available for each financial year.

The Commission must ensure that there is consistency and complementarity between the Community actions to be implemented under the programme and the other relevant Community programmes and initiatives. These include Community programmes to combat AIDS, cancer and certain other communicable diseases, drugs and the specific RTD programme on Biomedicine and Health under the Fourth Framework Programme, 1994-1998.

In implementing the actions, the Commission will seek to strengthen cooperation with non-member countries and with international public health organizations, including the World Health Organization. Cooperation with the Council of Europe will also be pursued where appropriate. Those EFTA countries party to the Agreement establishing the European Economic Area and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe with whom the Community has concluded Europe Agreements may be associated with the activities under the programme.

The Commission is required to regularly publish information on the activities undertaken and the possibilities for Community support in the various fields of action. A mid-term report on the actions pursued, as well as a final report upon completion of the programme, must be submitted to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.
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