The thematic objective, Promoting social inclusion and combating poverty, covers the following investment priorities:

  • health and social infrastructure, reducing health status inequalities, transition from institutional to community-based systems
  • urban and rural regeneration – physical and economic
  • social enterprises
  • active inclusion
  • marginalised communities
  • combating discrimination
  • access to services (including health care)
  • local development strategies

Key messages

Social inclusion has a strong influence on health and wellbeing. Inclusion and improved economic opportunities will bring health benefits for less-favoured areas and marginalised communities, such as the Roma. Structural Fund investments for urban and rural regeneration can improve physical and mental health and reduce health inequalities.

Access to good quality healthcare plays an important role in improving health outcomes. Primary health care plays a particularly important role. Services, in regions and Member States, should be provided with a scale and intensity that is proportionate to the level of disadvantage. This will address the health inequalities faced by marginalised communities and across less favoured areas.  It will also be valuable for health strategies to review determinants of health and consider ways for Structural Funds to address health when investing in areas such as employment, transport and SMEs.

The European platform against poverty and social exclusion calls for EU funds to improve access to healthcare and other essential services, promote social innovation and support new public-private partnerships. Actions under this thematic objective can directly support health improvements, and it will be important to identify, assess and support these outcomes.