Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being


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ABOUT the Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health

and Social Well-being

NDPHS in brief...

The Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS) is a cooperative effort of nine governments, the European Commission and eight international organisations. Also referred to as "the Partnership" on this website, the NDPHS provides a unique platform for taking concerted action in the field of health and social wellbeing.

By bringing together experts to learn from each other and to develop joint activities, the NDPHS strengthens collaboration and coordination of international activities in the Northern Dimension area. The Partnership seeks to combine the regional strengths, competences, research, innovation and players to achieve improvements in the strategic focus areas. 


The NDPHS was formally established at a ministerial-level meeting on 27 October 2003, in Oslo, Norway. It operates in accordance with the Declaration concerning the establishment of a NDPHS (the Oslo Declaration), which was adopted during this meeting. The Declaration lays the foundation for the Partnership’s objectives, structure, role and practical functions, main priorities, financing methods and guidelines for future development. Being multinational and multi-stakeholder in its composition, the membership of the NDPHS is comprised of Partner Countries, the European Commission and Partner Organisations (listed here).

The NDPHS is established within the Northern Dimension (ND) policy framework which originally involved the European Union, Iceland, Norway and the Russian Federation. However, cooperation with Russia has been suspended after Russia's military aggression against Ukraine.

Actors and structure

The Partnership operates at several levels, the most important being the Partnership Annual Conference (PAC), the Committee of Senior Representatives (CSR), the Meeting of the Parties (MP), Expert Groups, Task Groups and the NDPHS Secretariat.

See the NDPHS organigram for an overall picture and read more about the role and composition of the above-mentioned bodies on their respective pages.

Mission and Objectives 

The mission of the NDPHS is to promote the sustainable development of the Northern Dimension area by improving peoples’ health and social well-being. The Partnership aims to contribute to this process by intensifying cooperation, assisting the Partners in capacity building, and by enhancing the extent of coordination between international activities within the Northern Dimension area.

In working to achieve these objectives, the Partners focus on increasing political and administrative coherence between the countries in the Northern Dimension area, narrowing their social and economic disparities, and improving peoples’ overall quality of life.

Values and Priority Fields

The NDPHS highly values social cohesion and promotes health and wellbeing for all population groups without discrimination. The NDPHS activities strive for improving the quality of life by narrowing socioeconomic differences. Through advocating good health and wellbeing, decent work and reduced inequalities, the Partnership supports sustainable development in the Northern Dimension area.

The Partnership values a practical and agile approach to working where all Partners cooperate on an equal footing based on trust and respect. Through producing evidence-based scientific knowledge and policy advice, the Partnership advocates informed decision-making and seeks to inspire further action and activities in the strategic focus areas.


Two main priority fields in which the Partnership aims to support cooperation and coordination:

Across both priorities, gender and children’s perspectives are taken into account. Equity and social inclusion are treated as central elements in achieving the Partnership’s objectives, for which reason a strong interaction between the health and social sectors is promoted. People with disabilities and indigenous peoples are also recognised as vulnerable groups that have particular needs and therefore require special attention.

Areas of action, which are prioritised during a given period of time, are described in multiannual strategies and action plans accompanying them. They are then further detailed, if needed, in annual work plans.

NDPHS Strategy 2020 and accompanying Action Plan

During 2015-2020, the Partnership work is guided by the new NDPHS Strategy 2020, adopted by the Committee of Senior Representatives. The Strategy includes, inter alia, the following:


The adopted overall objective indicates what the Partnership strives to achieve either independently or as one of many actors in the ND area. The cross-cutting issues are issues that accommodate broader themes and lie at the core of all actions under the specific objectives. The objectives are specific, measurable and time-bound goals that the Partnership strives to achieve. Finally, the guiding principles are general rules to be followed during the implementation of the Strategy 2020.

The Strategy 2020 is accompanied by an Action Plan, also adopted by the Committee of Senior Representatives. The Action Plan specifies expected results and indicators to measure progress towards achieving them, as well as planned activities and, finally, resources warranted for the implementation of the Strategy. 

NDPHS Strategy 2022-2027

On November 6, 2020 the Committee of Senior Representatives agreed to prolong the NDPHS Strategy 2020 until the adoption of the NDPHS Strategy 2022-2027. The new strategy is expected to be adopted in 2022.


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