› Why was the Charter created?
› Who are the partners behind the Charter
› Why was the Charter needed?
› How will the Charter work?
› Who are the current signatories of the Charter?
› To what do signatories to the Charter commit?
› What is the European Heart Health Charter?
› What is the political significance of the Charter?
› Who can sign the charter
› What is the Valentine's Declaration?
› Where can I find more information on the Charter's implementation in my country?
› Who should I contact to have more information on the Charter's implementation in my country?
› Does the Charter exist in my language?
› Where can I find more information on cardiovascular disease and prevention?
› What more will this Charter bring over the existing guidelines recommended by health organizations?
› How will the success of the Charter be measured and maintained?

Why was the Charter created?

  • To reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in the European Union and the WHO European Region.
  • To reduce the inequalities of CVD risk factors within and between countries.
  • For signatories to promote and support measures giving priority to lifestyle oriented interventions.
  • To place the fight against CVD higher on the political agenda both for the EU and within the individual nation states.
  • As a call for action at political, economic and social levels that, like CVD, transcend national boundaries.

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Who are the partners behind the Charter?

  • The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) represents more than 52,000 cardiology professionals across Europe and the Mediterranean. Its mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe. The ESC achieves this through a variety of scientific and educational activities including the coordination of clinical practice guidelines, education courses and initiatives, pan-European surveys on specific disease areas and the ESC Annual Congress, the largest medical meeting in Europe.
  • The European Heart Network (EHN) is an alliance of heart foundations and likeminded non-governmental organisations throughout Europe, with member organisations in 26 countries. EHN plays a leading role in the prevention and reduction of cardiovascular disease through advocacy, networking and education so that it is no longer a major cause of premature death and disability throughout Europe.
  • The European Commission has developed a more coordinated approach to European health policy: a high level of human health protection should be assured in all Community policies.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) European Region – is the United Nations specialized agency for health. WHO's objective, as set out in its Constitution, is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health. Health is defined in WHO's Constitution as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. 53 countries make up the WHO European Region.

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Why was the Charter needed?

  • CVD remains the single greatest killer in Europe.
  • A European wide approach to the prevention of CVD, sustained by efforts on a national level, needs to be promulgated.
  • To fulfil EU treaty “to protect health and improve the quality of life in the European population” by reducing the impact of CVD.
  • to mobilise cross-sectorial cooperation and broad support for cardiovascular health promotion and disease prevention

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How will the Charter work?

  • A variety of tools, including television commercials and print advertisements, will be provided along with the charter translated in most European languages to be used by government officials, health organisations and associations to clearly explain the dangers of cardiovascular disease and promote cardiovascular health to the general public.

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Who are the current signatories of the Charter?

  • The 14 Charter signatories are all European entities in the field of health promotion. They recongnise the burden of cardiovascular disease in the daily life of European citizens and chose to support the European Heart Health Charter, thereby committing themselves to promoting heart health through their own initiatives,, in an attempt to achieve the qualitative and quantitative targets set out within the Charter.

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To what do signatories to the Charter commit?

  • To work in close collaboration with each other at the European and national levels, within the profession and through all potential partners, political as well as Non Governmental.
  • To implement the policies and measures agreed upon in high-level European political documents such as the Council Conclusion on Hearth Health, the Luxembourg Declaration on implementing cardiovascular health promotion, and the WHO resolution on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in the WHO region on European.
  • To advocate for and support the development and implementation of comprehensive health strategies as well as measures and polices on a local, regional, national and European level that promote cardiovascular health and prevent CVD.
  • To engage in the education and empowerment of the public and of patients by involving mass media and developing social marketing for raising awareness.
  • To support the establishment of national strategies for the detection and management of CVD in those at high risk and the prevention and care for those with already established CVD.
  • To promote the adoption of the most recent European Guidelines on CVD prevention produced by the Joint European Task Force.

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What is the European Heart Health Charter?

  • It is a moral agreement between partners and signatories to help implement the Charter aims at a European and national level to contribute their efforts to a heart healthier Europe. The Charter sends a strong and clear message as to what European scientists, health professionals, NGOs, the European Commission and the WHO-Europe Region believe health promotion in Europe should focus on.

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What is the political significance of the Charter?

The political objective of the Charter is twofold:
  • to keep the urgent need to address CV health and CVD prevention in the public eye through the various efforts and initiatives of the different foundations and societies,
  • to build and strengthen heart health alliances in order to achieve the strongest possible political support for policy developments that will promote cardiovascular health on a national and European level.

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Who can sign the charter?

  • Political organisations
  • NGOs
  • national and European health networks, societies and foundations

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What is the Valentine's Declaration?

  • The Valentine’s Declaration results from the Winning Heart Conference organized by the European Heart Network, with the cooperation of the European Society of Cardiology, in Brussels on the first Valentine's day of the new Millennium. The declaration underlines that CVD is not a normal part of the ageing process but mostly the consequence of unhealthy lifestyle habits picked up early in life. The conference stressed the important role of policy in promoting a heart-healthy environment. The Charter builds upon this declaration:
    “Every child born in the new millennium has the right to live until the age of at least 65 without suffering from avoidable cardiovascular disease.”

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Where can I find more information on the Charter's implementation in my country?

  • Learn more about activities and events in your country by visiting the Charter Community section (link towards Charter Community area)

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Who should I contact to have more information on the Charter's implementation in my country?

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Does the Charter exist in my language?

  • The Charter is being translated in most official European languages. Please check in this list to find yours...

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Where can I find more information on cardiovascular disease and prevention?

  • If you need more information on CVD, please refer to the section Why the charter now?
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    What more will this Charter bring over the existing guidelines recommended by health organizations?

    • "For the first time in Europe, a group of professionals has analysed a problem objectively, a problem that affects most of the population of Europe or indeed developed society; they’ve posed questions about it and they have proposed answers to those questions. Number two, they have approached government at the highest level with a plan for solving these problems and undertaking political action to bring about change in legislation. And thirdly, through working with government, they want to be involved in the execution of the solution. So, there are three elements to it: one, analysis of the problem; two, political actions, and thirdly, execution, in which the professional body is involved." Prof. John Martin – ESC
    • "This Charter on CVD in Europe has the full support of both the WHO and the European Commission. It provides a clear message that WHO and the European Commission are working hand-in-hand with cardiologists from the ESC and public organizations from EHN to form a strong, visible alliance against Europe's greatest killer." Dr Jill Farringron - WHO

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    How will the success of the Charter be measured and maintained?

    • Signatories will review regularly the extent to which national plans and policies are adopted and implemented.
    • Meetings will be organised in partnership with the European Commission and the WHO as a platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences on improvements made or to be made.
    • Please check for regular updates in the Charter Community section to learn more about initiatives and progresses being made

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