Civil society contributions to a sustainable health workforce in the European Union

Linda Mans, Remco van de Pas, Sascha Marschang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Following the adoption of the World Health Organization’s Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel (WHO Code), eight civil society organizations implemented the European Union (EU) funded project “Health Workers for All and All for Health Workers” (2013–2016).
Investing in a sustainable health workforce requires long-term action at country and international level as part of an intersectoral effort. Both the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health and the resolution of the UN General Assembly on Health Employment and Economic Growth anticipate an active role for
civil society as change agents in this process.
Approach: This paper uses the approach and rich experiences of the project to provide case studies, an analysis of governance and accountability developments in the EU, the contribution of civil society (including its limitations) and lessons learned by the project.
Findings: The analysis indicates that civil society has been a driving force in holding the WHO Code under the attention of European policy-makers.
Conclusions: The WHO Code remains a relevant and efficient tool for guiding policy principles which address the mobility of health personnel within and beyond the EU. A governance mechanism based on shared responsibility is paramount to counteract widening disparities between health systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number357-536
Pages (from-to)514-522
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health Panaroma
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017

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