You are here: ENWHPENWHP Initiatives > Special project: WHP in Latin and Southern European Countries

WHP in Latin and Southern European Countries

Special Project

The work of the ENWHP has brought to light significant differences in practice between the countries of northern and southern Europe. However in order to achieve the optimum development of workplace health promotion in Southern European Countries it is vitally important that the socio-cultural conditions and existing workplace health policies, services and infrastructures are taken fully into consideration.

In general, social-cultural models that originated in the Northern and Central European Countries have had the strongest influence on the developing theories of workplace health promotion and health promotion. In transferring these principles and theories to the Southern European Countries it is necessary for them to be adapted to the social and cultural context of those countries and to be implemented in a way that takes into consideration the different service developments that have occurred in Southern countries in recent years.

A series of meetings took place between the National Contact Offices for Workplace Health Promotion in Southern Europe in 2000 / 2001. These meetings took place so that the issues associated with the transition from a traditional occupational health and safety led system to a system based on the principles of workplace health promotion could be discussed and the particular factors which influence the development of workplace health promotion in Southern European Countries could be identified and addressed.

A number of key steps were identified which would enhance the development of WHP in Southern Europe, these included:

  • The provision of support for the re-orientation of occupational health services
  • The harmonization of European policies across all Member States
  • The promotion of organisational cultures based on prevention and workplace health promotion
  • The development of policies designed to improve employability, increase adaptability and reduce inequality, with particular attention being paid to specific population groups such as the elderly, the underemployed and unemployed, and immigrants in Southern European Countries.
  • The active involvement of stakeholders and social partners in the transition from a traditional occupational health and safety led system to a system based on the principles of workplace health promotion.
  • The major outcome of the meetings was the development of the Sicily Decalogue. This document sets out 10 recommendations, which, if implemented, would lead to enhanced levels of workplace health promotion in Southern Europe and consequently a fitter, healthier and more productive workforce, together with more efficient and profitable working practices.

Sicily decalogue (PDF 0.7 MB)