European Network against privatization and commercialization of Health and Social protection
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Barcelona Declaration of 16 November 2018

D 3 December 2018    


The European Network against Privatization and Commercialization of Health and Social Protection, meeting on November 16 2018 in Barcelona, stressed that the mechanisms for privatization and commercialization of health and social protection are expanding throughout Europe, driven by neoliberal policies "everything for the market".

This observation is based on the realities of many countries for a wide range of health and social protection sectors.

The commercialization of health has disastrous consequences on access to health care (geographical, economical, temporal, cultural...) [1] and thus an increasing exclusion of important groups within the population ; women, youth, unemployed, elderly, people with disabilities, migrants... are the first victims.

The precarity, fear and resignation that has followed has created a fertile ground for the extreme right-wing demagoguery.

The absence of a social Europe and Europe’s neoliberal policies allow local authorities to designate Europe as the sole cause and responsible for all these evils.

More than ever, the European Network reaffirms the need to protect and generalize the European social heritage of social protection systems such as social security, but also social policies aimed at addressing the social determinants of health (education, housing, working conditions, the environment, etc.) [2], as proclaimed in the European Social Charter.

The participants in the Barcelona meeting have, on this basis:

  • decided to continue and intensify the actions included in the European Year for the struggle against the commodification of health launched on 7 April 2018
  • adopted the attached proposal for a pledge, which they will submit for adoption to European parliamentary groups and candidates in the May 2019 European elections
  • decided, as part of a European mobilisation, to organize in Brussels, around 7 April 2019 - European Day against the commercialization of health - a European demonstration and a conference with the signatory parliamentary groups.
    Our aim: to disseminate the main principles that should guarantee European political action in the field of health
  • decided, in the meantime, to inform, raise awareness and mobilize locally, through member organizations and allied networks, in order to create a united and plural front of struggles.
    Our aim: to converge local struggles to defend public health with a real capacity for action at the European level.

Fighting together for Public Health for all!


(you can find the pledge in different languages attached below this article)

With this declaration we commit ourselves to defend and generalize a health system and a social protection that ensures accessible, reliable, quality and non-commercial services for the entire population with sufficient and solidarity-based funding towards a truly social Europe

The principles we stand for:

Health is a state of physical, mental, social, cultural and ecological well-being, not just the absence of disease or infirmity.

Health and social protection are universal human rights that must be considered in its broadest and most comprehensive aspects, including the determinants of health.

Therefore, the right to health and social protection requires action not only by the health sector, but also by many other social, environmental and economic sectors. Political choices, whether European or national, must be made to ensure that the entire population, whatever their geographical area, has access to accessible, reliable, high-quality, non-commercial and democratic local services financed by a system of solidarity.

That is why, in my role as an elected member of the European Parliament, representing European citizens, I undertake to oppose the dismantling of health and universal social protection systems through the following axes:

  1. For our health: ensure adequate funding for public and non-commercial health services in the Member States, guaranteeing a system of social protection that is inclusive, public and universal and offers accessible, high-quality services;
  2. For our health: protect the population against commercial abuses, because health and social protection are common goods and are not for sale;
  3. For our health: guarantee financial, geographical, temporal and cultural accessibility to health for all populations, without restriction of any kind, taking into account local realities;
  4. For our health: promote health democracy by involving civil society, workers and beneficiaries in defining the objectives and means of health policies;
  5. For our Health: improve health by addressing root causes such as the social, environmental and ecological and gender determinants of health;
  6. For our health: orient medicine policy at the service of the population and not of multinational pharmaceutical companies.


[1Geographical: distance from health services by suppression and mergers, medical deserts,...
Economical: the beneficiaries’ share of funding ("out of pocket")
Temporal: waiting lists and postponements of care
Cultural: care is increasingly standardised


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