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The 2020-2021 edition of the Policy Recommendations by the Next Generation is now out. The report lays out the European Health Parliament’s conclusions from this past year. See what some of Europe’s brightest young health leaders have to say about health: in three words, their message is Recover, Reinvest, Reinvent.

These young European encourage us to read their full set of recommendations to learn more about their vision for reinventing Europe’s health data co-operation. This year, EHTEL is proud that, through its eHealth policy officer - Tino Marti, the association had the opportunity to contribute to the insights of this young people’s parliament.

What is the parliament?

Created in 2014, the European Health Parliament has met for six years in a row. Its purpose is to provide the next generation of European health leaders with the connections, knowledge, and platform they need to build a healthier and more innovative Europe. 2021 was the year it went fully virtual.

How does the parliament work?

Each year, a cohort of 60 young professionals – from a range of educational and occupational backgrounds – gathers together. Over a six-month period, this next generation develops policy recommendations in selected health fields to address Europe’s most pressing health challenges. The 60 are supported in their activities by experts from European industry, policy and communications companies, and not-for-profits. They also receive guidance from the European Commission. Each year, the parliament produces a policy report. On average, the report dedicates some 10-20 pages of documentation to analysing the status of a policy field, its gaps and potential solutions.

Committee for European Health Data Cooperation

What were the 2020-2021 policy themes?

In 2021, five key areas of policy in health were selected. They were:

  • European health data co-operation
  • Telemedicine and patient-centred care
  • Resilient supply chains
  • Health and the green transition
  • Healthy economies.


Each topic was tackled by a small 10-15 person committee. Members did a thorough literature review and interviewed a number of stakeholders. For each policy field, a single page executive summary wrapped up the main messages. It was accompanied by a description of the approach, gaps and roadblocks, and policy recommendations.

What are young Europeans messages for European health data co-operation

The need to transform Europe’s health data ecosystem is clear. There is great potential to leverage health data in many health fields.

On health data co-operation, the group’s three basic policy messages were:

  • Establish a clear governance framework.
  • Build a coordinated and secure health data infrastructure.
  • Create a trustworthy and accessible European health data space.


More detailed advice is offered, for example, on how to:

  • Sub-divide data areas in the European Health Data Space.
  • Create a citizen-centric European health data app.

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The group drew on the work of InteropEHRate, a project to which EHTEL and its members contribute. A solution of key importance is the management of data “in patients’ hands” through their own mobile phones. These smart electronic health records offer citizens and patients the option to agree their dynamic consent to health data sharing e.g., for research purposes.

“[It is now time to build on] foundations for the future of European health data co-operation,” since activities are “travelling in the right direction”, was the parliamentary committee’s chief general conclusion (current report issue, p43). Ultimately, committee members were pleased to see European funding for digitalisation. They called out to the European Union to take charge in coordinating activities to leverage data use in the future (current report issue, p46).


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