Dr. Danijela Urošević, Chair of the South-Eastern Europe Health Network Executive Committee represented the Network at the Conference on The Role of the European Union in Strengthening Health Systems Resilience Globally.

The event was held virtually, on October 20, 2021, under the auspices of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of EU.

The Conference aimed to identify a set of actions to support overcoming the COVID-19 crisis and better preparing for future pandemics. The key outcome of the conference called for a holistic, inclusive, and coordinated approach to health systems strengthening within Europe and beyond.

Dr. Urošević’s intervention focused on the role and remit of the SEEHN and its contribution to the strengthening of the health systems within its Member States, on the prospects of the recently launched WHO Roadmap for Health and well-being in the Western Balkans (‎2021-2025) and on the promising opportunities to be addressed in partnership by EU and SEEHN.

She also spoke on the Network’s 20th anniversary this year, highlighting the progress and contribution to health gains in the region. In her speech, she referred to the regional health development centres as drivers for regional cooperation and expertise, to the international partnerships that have built and continue to build core capacities within the Network Member States health systems, and to the deep-rooted principles that have guided the work of the Network over the years, such as solidarity, leaving no one behind and attaining the highest possible level of health.

Dr. Urošević emphasized the main pillars of the WHO Roadmap for Health and well-being in the Western Balkans, priority actions and reform initiatives in correlation with the SEEHN synergies that are seen regionally as important milestones aimed to re-build the economies of the WBs and promote an environment in which people thrive and have their health needs met.

Last but not least, shared rules and enhanced cooperation between EU and SEEHN were highlighted as values ​​that should underpin better and fairer reconstruction in the SEE region, while supporting direct mechanisms such as TAIEX to create positive outcomes in areas of common regional interest such as health emergency resilience, mental health, immunization agenda, digital health as well as behavioural and cultural insights.

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