In this special theme issue of Panorama, published for the Sixty-fifth session of the World Health Organization Regional Committee for Europe, the Regional Director highlights the importance of an intersectoral approach towards health policy formulation and practice. Agis Tsouros and Monika Kosinska (page 117) talk about the necessity of and opportunities for intersectoral action for the successful implementation of Health 2020, the European strategy and policy framework for health and well-being. Taking “governance for health” further, Scott L. Greer and colleagues (page 128) state that experiences from within the health sector can be valuable for those adopting intersectoral approaches in the European Region. “Better Labs for Better Health” is an intersectoral initiative of the WHO Regional Office for Europe since 2012. Joanna Zwetyenga and colleagues (page 162) present the experiences of four countries in developing national laboratory policies by multisectoral working groups in the respective countries. Amanda Shriwise and David Stuckler (page 138) develop a conceptual framework outlining the bi-directional linkages between health and social protection and call for the health sector to lead by example. Evelyne de Leeuw (page 175) presents the evidence from evaluations of the European Healthy Cities network as an effective example of intersectoral action, policy and governance. Viktor Kondratiev and co-workers (page 192) discuss the lessons learnt from and next steps for national implementation of an intersectoral road safety project in the Ivanovo and Lipetsk regions of the Russian Federation.
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