The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) provide important opportunities for investing in policies and actions that tackle a range of socio-economic determinants of health inequalities. However, despite the availability of these funds there are many challenges to overcome when developing an idea and translating it into an investable proposal for funding.
The HEALTHEQUITY-2020 project aims to assist EU regions to develop actions for reducing health inequalities while at the same time exploring the ESIF opportunities available. In order to help achieve this goal a Policy Matrix was developed, which tries to fit health within the European strategic frameworks and bridge them with the idea of health equity.
This Policy Matrix paper is based on the provisions of the Common Strategic Framework, the new ESIF Regulations, and the “Investments in Health Policy Guide for the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) 2014-2020″ .
It identifies intervention pathways to address health inequalities based on the European policies and political context, leaving room for many small or large sized measures.
The process of accessing European funding is highly complex. Choosing among lines of policies for interventions to reduce health inequality will also depend on many other factors such as the regional or country specific prioritization, national reform programs or the budget availability.
The policy options provided by the Policy Matrix should therefore be combined with the concrete needs, policies, and the regulatory context in the region.
The Matrix is a small guide of possibilities. It is developed to assist local policy planning by making a bridge between actions for health and health equity and the ESIF framework. The aim is to get a better understanding of EU policy priorities and increasing the chances of regional actors to make use of these important funding opportunities.