Intended for healthcare professionals


Environment and health

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 19 June 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1635

Europe's partnerships can be a model

  1. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director general
  1. World Health Organisation, CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland

    Education and debate pp 1678-93

    At the time of the Peace of Utrecht in 1713 the Abbé de Saint-Pierre pondered on the ill faith of Europe. His vision was a community of nations having a common legal framework and common institutions enabling them to confront the challenges of their times. It took Europe centuries to move close to that vision. In large parts of Europe we are now able to apply democracy and the rule of law among nations as well as within them. No other region is in a stronger position to provide thatkind of leadership than Europe. The environment is one of those issues that pays no attention to national borders—and is thus one subject on which Europe should be able to show the benefits of its cross border leadership.

    The environment is a key factor in determining the health of populations.1 Many European countries have seen significant improvements: the sky …

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