Northern Dimension

The Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social wellbeing (NDPHS) is an intergovernmental forum for expert cooperation in health and wellbeing. The aim of the NDPHS is to chart a path towards sustainable and participatory societies that provide all of their members with equal opportunities to good health and wellbeing.

The NDPHS brings together experts and political decision-makers from partner countries in Northern Europe and the Baltic Sea region, the European Commission, the World Health Organization, and several other international organisations. Partnership strengthens the exchange of information, learning from others, and the promotion of health. By highlighting the partners’ strengths and capabilities, and by promoting research and innovation, the partnership supports data-driven decision-making.

The NDPHS serves as the Policy Area Coordinator of the Health Policy Area in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. Through that role, the NDPHS promotes measures related to the following themes:

  • healthy ageing
  • the economy of wellbeing and the “health in all policies” approach
  • the capacity of stakeholders and institutions to respond to regional health challenges.

Cooperation is focused on work programmes

The activities of the NDPHS are based on nine work programmes led by the Stockholm-based Secretariat along with international expert groups and ad hoc working groups.
The NDPHS has two major horizontal work programmes that are implemented by all of the aforementioned NDPHS actors together:

  • Active and healthy ageing, which also includes issues related to digitalisation, integrated care and mental health
  • The economy of wellbeing and health in all policies

Each expert group also has its own work programme, with the main themes being as follows:

  • antimicrobial resistance
  • substance abuse
  • HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis 
  • chronic, non-communicable diseases
  • occupational safety and health
  • primary health care
  • prison health

Two of the expert groups (HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, and occupational safety and health) are coordinated by Finland, specifically by experts from the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health participates in NDPHS meetings at the ministerial and senior representative levels. The activities of the NDPHS are coordinated by the Committee of Senior Representatives, which meets twice a year. The political steering of the NDPHS is the responsibility of the Partnership Annual Conference, which is convened at the ministerial level once every two years.

NDPHS cooperation with Russia has been suspended due to Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. 

Further informtion

Päivi Karvinen, Senior Specialist 
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, International Affairs Unit (KVY) 0295163196