by Elizabeth M Speakman, Martin McKee, Richard Coker
The Lancet Global Health, Vol. 5, No. 4, e392–e393, April 2017
These are dark times for the European Union (EU). The Brexit vote, coupled with the rise of Eurosceptic parties, was a reminder that many Europeans view the EU as an irritant, with little understanding of its positive role. The election of Donald Trump shows that this retreat into isolationism is not limited to Europe. At this time of existential crisis, it has never been so vital for the EU to demonstrate that it is indeed a union, that it is a force for good, and that this positive influence goes beyond Europe’s borders. A prominent EU global health strategy would not only benefit global health. It would also show leadership from Europe, promoting the values of which the EU is justifiably proud: respect for human dignity and human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law.