Healthier Together initiative on NCDs: ECDA input

In December 2021, the European Commission announced a new initiative to frame action on chronic diseases at European level: “Healthier Together”. ECDA has taken part in the consultative process led by the European Commission from January to June 2022.

In this context, ECDA developed a paper outlining recommended priority areas for action, to support the European Commission’s and member states work.

Please find below a summary of ECDA’s proposed priorities:

– Collection of comparable, robust data on NCDs at EU level – Building an integrated EU NCD registry fully operational by 2030 within the European Health Data Space, including health economic data. 

– Primary prevention, focusing on:

  • Co-occurring NCD risk factors
  • Creating healthier living environments through “whole system” approaches
  • Alcohol consumption prevention and control, addressing inequalities
  • Social and socio-economic determinants of health in children – including marketing of unhealthy food/drinks and alcohol beverages
  • NCD educational/awareness initiatives that build on intergenerational collaboration

– Secondary prevention, early detection and screening of NCDs and comorbidities, in particular:

  • Early detection and screening of co-morbidities/complications in vulnerable groups
  • Harmonised screening strategies to detect early-on complications resulting from COVID-19 infection or ‘long’ COVID-19

– Integrated, multi-disciplinary collaboration to prevent and manage co-morbidities, multi-morbidity and complications – including setup of NCD networks of excellence or European expertise networks for prevention and control of co-morbidities and complications, based on the model of the ERNs

– NCD management plans as part of crisis planning to ensure continuity of care

Other general recommendations:


  • Add value to and include other prevalent chronic diseases, such as kidney, liver, gastro-intestinal diseases, allergy and auto-immune diseases
  • Address the links between chronic diseases (beyond disease-specific strands): disease-disease interactions, co-morbidities and complications
  • Respond to the specific needs of certain population groups, including children, older populations (multi-morbid) and other vulnerable groups, with dedicated actions


  • Reduce the prevalence of NCDs in Europe towards 2030 (beyond mortality), with indicators for various age groups and at-risk populations; better protect  citizens from co-morbidity
  • Help achieve the UN SDGs targets for NCDs in Europe and exceed them, taking stock of the important learnings from COVID-19