17th Meeting of the EU Physical Activity Focal Points Network
The 17th Meeting of the EU Physical Activity Focal Points Network took place in Nice (France) on 30 August 2022. Its goal was to support the alignment of physical activity policymaking and physical activity research in Europe. Scheduled as a pre-conference event to the 2022 Congress of the HEPA Europe Network, the meeting allowed for the use of innovative formats to foster the exchange between policymakers and scientists.
As a first step, success factors for physical activity promoting policies were identified by the 20+ participating focal points of the EU member states. The exchange then moved on to current political challenges for physical activity promotion. In the third part of the meeting, ideas for a closer collaboration of policymaking (focal points) and research (HEPA Europe) were developed in a systematic brainstorming session together with the steering committee of the WHO HEPA Europe Network. The WHO Collaborating Centre for Physical Activity and Public Health – represented by PD Dr. Karim Abu-Omar, Dr. Antonina Tcymbal and Dr. Sven Messing – supported WHO/Europe and the European Commission in preparing and facilitating the meeting.
On the following day, all delegates of the HEPA Europe Congress had the opportunity to meet the focal points of the EU member states at a ‘Market Place’ and to discuss current topics related to physical activity policymaking and research.
The EU Physical Activity Focal Point Network is composed of 27 focal points that were officially appointed by all EU member states and are tasked with the promotion of physical activity. Focal points are usually representatives of the respective ministries of health or sports. The network is coordinated by the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the European Commission. It has received scientific support from the WHO Collaborating Centre in Erlangen (Germany) since its establishment in 2014.