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HEAL’s contribution to Geert Messiaen (BE Mutuel) book ‘Is Europe Social?’

Génon K. Jensen, HEAL’s Executive Director, evaluates the actions of the European Union to protect public health and the environment in a new book by Geert Messiaen, Secretary General of the Liberal Mutualities: Is Europe Social?

Génon K. Jensen, Executive Director of the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), contributed to a book entitled ‘Is Europe Social?’ by Geert Messiaen, Secretary General of the Liberal Mutualities, published in May 2018. She gave her view on the actions the European Union (EU) has taken to protect public health and the environment. The EU has seen some positive significant developments, like the adoption of the REACH regulation and the pesticides legislation. However, sometimes short-sighted views on economic costs continue to get in the way of truly health-protective policies, disregarding that tackling environmental health issues has major untapped economic benefits.

The author, Geert Messiaen, secretary general of the Liberal Mutualities, presented his book ‘Is Europe Social?’ on 8 May 2018 in Gent, Belgium. He calls for a more social Europe because problems concerning an aging population, financial crisis, environmental pollution and climate change are impossible to solve on the national level.

Economic developments should not stand in the way of sound social security in the EU. It is important that austerity measures do not negatively impact the more vulnerable groups in our society. Messiaen sees here an important role for health insurers, to protect the interests of the patients and let their voice be heard by policy-makers. One way they already do so, is in their collaboration within the International Association of Mutual Benefit Societies (AIM) and their membership with HEAL.

Learn more about this interesting book and read the review in Dutch.

Originally posted on 23 May 2018

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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