The remarkable political changes that have
taken place within the European Region in
the last five years have greatly enlarged the
potential for international collaboration. The
First European Conference on Environment
and Health was held in Frankfurt in December
1989, when these dramatic changes
were at their height. Ministers from 29 countries,
and the European Commission, approved
a Charter that set out the principles,
strategy and priorities for achieving an effective
approach to the many areas in which environmental
conditions may significantly affect
There is increasing recognition that new forms of partnership and intersectoral
work are required to address the social and economic determinants of health.
Investments in both education and health are compromised unless a school is a
healthy place in which to live, learn and work. School communities respond to a
dynamic set of factors affecting student achievement and learning outcomes. The
health of students, teachers and families is a key factor influencing learning.
To date, health policy-makers have had little success in inf luencing the
organizational framework of other areas of public policy in order to create
the appropriate organizational framework for setting intersectoral health goals.
Moreover, although some efforts have been made to improve access to health
services among marginalized sections of society, planned interventions to deal
with health inequities within the wider framework of social determinants of
health are still lacking.