It is common knowledge that health is important for the wellbeing of individuals, but a healthy population is also a prerequisite for economic productivity and prosperity... In 2005, Healthy Life Years (HLY) was included as a Lisbon Structural Indicator, to underline that the population's life expectancy in good health – not just length of life – was a key factor for economic growth.
In 2007 the EU launched a strategy for public health - “Together for health: a strategic approach for the EU 2008-2013”, which is to tackle the more widespread challenges to public health such as an ageing population, cross-border health threats and life-style related diseases. Its purposes focus on fostering good health in an ageing Europe, protecting citizens from health threats, supporting dynamic health systems and new technologies. The EU has developed a programme for health, which is the main instrument to implement objectives of the Health Strategy. As it expires in 2013, the future of the EU’s Health Strategy will be on the agenda during the Danish Presidency of the Council. What can we expect during the Danish Presidency, in particular, fighting cross-border health threats, patients’ access to treatment in other EU Member States as well as regulation of tobacco products, medical products and medical devices.