European Resources

  • International

These resources can enable journalists to find information. To contribute additional sources or suggest a relevant health topic, send a few lines of explanation and the URL to Although these sources are in English, please let us know of good sources in other languages.

Government agencies

DG SANCO (Directorate General, Health and Consumer Affairs, European Commission)
DG SANCO is responsible for implementation of European Union laws on health and consumer protection. It manages three scientific committees: the Scientific Committee on Consumer Products, the Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks, and the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks. It also manages three agencies: the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the European Food Safety Authority, and the Community Plant Variety Office. DG SANCO is based in Brussels, Belgium.

European Center for Disease Prevention and Control
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control is an agency of the European Union charged with identifying, assessing and communicating about current and emerging infectious disease threats to the continent. It works in partnership with national health protection bodies in surveillance and development of scientific opinions about the risks of infectious diseases. It also publishes a weekly peer-reviewed journal, Eurosurveillance. ECDC is based in Stockholm, Sweden.

European Medicines Agency
The European Medicines Agency is a European Union agency that assesses pharmaceuticals for approval through the centralized drug-approval procedure. When recommended by the EMEA and affirmed by the European Commission, medicines are authorized for marketing in all 27 European Union countries along with the European Economic Area-European Free Trade Area countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use makes agency decisions on whether to recommend that a marketing license be given to pharmaceuticals to treat human diseases. The European Commission must affirm all EMEA recommendations. EMEA is based in London.

WHO Europe
World Health Organization European Office covers 53 countries and 880 million people in the European Region. WHO Europe’s mission is to assist member states in health policies, systems and public health programs; and preventing and addressing health threats. The region stretches from Greenland to Russia and includes Turkey, Israel and Central Asian nations. WHO/Europe has offices in 36 countries.

NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement
Publicly funded organisation seeking to drive improvement in quality through the NHS and especially in the training of medical, nursing and health professional staff.

European Commissioner for Health Androulla Vassiliou
The portfolio of the European commissioner for health covers public health, feed and food safety, and animal health and welfare. The commission is based in Brussels, Belgium.

European Parliament
The European Parliament drafts legislation governing European Union activities and aspects of member state activities subject to EU authority. Its Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee has authority over health policies. The parliament has locations in Brussels, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Strasbourg, France.

European Union member nations
Map by Ssolbergj via Wikimedia Commons

Medical associations

European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology

European Association for Palliative Care

European Brain Injury Society

European Respiratory Society

European Society of Cardiology

European Union of General Practitioners

European Union of Senior Hospital Physicians

European Public Health Alliance

European Public Health Association

European Society For Medical Oncology

European Union of Medical Specialists

Standing Committee of European Doctors

Institutional Associations

European Association of Hospital Managers

European Association of Healthcare IT Managers

European Association for Directors of Residential Care Homes for the Elderly

European Health Management Association

Consumer organizations

Health Consumer Powerhouse
Publishes comparative ratings of health care systems in European countries.

European Society for Quality in Health Care
A federation of 19 national health care quality societies.

European Patients’ Forum
An umbrella group for groups active in public health and health advocacy.

Sources for news

Health Policy Monitor
(English and German). A project established in 2002 that publishes updates every six months on 20 countries, including several in east and west Europe.

Thompson/Reuters Foundation Alert net
This news network was established to keep relief professionals and the public informed about humanitarian crises around the globe. It also has brief country statistics for Europe and elsewhere.

Health Investor
This website carries news about the developing health care marketplace. Most stories are about the UK but there are some international stories.

Research organizations

International Forum on Quality and Safety in Health Care
Speakers’ presentations from the April 2010 event in Nice, France, are available online.

Care Quality Commission
The Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. It regulates care provided by the NHS, local authorities, private companies and voluntary organisations. It aims to make sure better care is provided for everyone – in hospitals, care homes and people’s own homes. It also seeks to protect the interests of people whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act.

Picker Institute Europe
This nonprofit organization researches and evaluates patients’ experience. It publishes materials to promote understanding of the patient’s perspective at all levels of health care policy and practice.

The Commonwealth Fund’s International Health Policy Resource Center allows you to compare data by country or browse countries.


European Federation of Public Service Unions
Organization representing (and offering links to) more than 200 unions – 8 million public service workers. Its press office, press releases, policy statements and other publications offer aAn alternative to the government and corporate view. It is involved in the issue of cross-border health care.

The largest public sector union in the United Kingdom, with more than 400,000 health workers in membership. It is politically affiliated with the Labour Party, but campaigns against privatisation, Private Finance initiative (PPP) etc.

The largest trade union in Britain has as many as 100,000 health members and is politically affiliated with the Labour Party.

Advocacy organizations

Rethink on mental health in Europe
Mental health has become an important issue within Europe recently as health and wellbeing play an ever more important part in the politics of Europe. Rethink has been contributing and closely following much of what has been taking place.

Mental Health Europe
This group works to raise awareness of mental health and its challenges, remove the stigma of mental illness and improve treatment and social rights of people with mental health problems.

Wemos is a campaigning organisation addressing Europe’s place in the delivery of health care to developing countries. It envisages a world in which every person can realize his or her right to the highest attainable standard of health. The website offers publications, links to NGOs and campaigning bodies with an international focus, and data. Recent material focuses on the drain of professionals from developing countries.

Keep our NHS Public
Searchable summary of news reports, updated daily, about the marketisation of health services, including cuts, closures, outsourcing to the private sector, health service deficits, demonstrations, PFI deals and anything else related to the privatisation of health care. While the site has an agenda, it’s roundup of news stories is useful. It mainly covers England, but has occasional material on Wales and Scotland.

Health Emergency
London Health Emergency is committed to fighting cutbacks, closures, privatisation and marketisation of health care. Its website includes occasional breaking news, a back file of the campaign newspaper Health Emergency, monthly articles (Campaigners’ Diary), and other publications for health unions.