WHP in Latin and Southern European Countries

Special Project (2000-2001)

Sicily Decalogue initiative

Ten recommendations to foster workplace health promotion in southern European countries.


To enhance the development of workplace health in Southern European countries.
To persuade all stakeholders to move from health protection to health promotion, from legal obligation to personal commitment and from compliance with legislation to excellence.


A series of meetings were held between the National Contact Offices for Workplace Health Promotion in Southern Europe in 2000 / 2001.

In these meetings 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 was discussed and the specific factors which influence the development of workplace health promotion in Southern European Countries was identified and addressed.

The outcomes of those discussions take the form of ten recommendations, which, if implemented, would lead to enhanced levels of workplace health promotion and consequently a fitter, healthier and more productive workforce, together with more efficient and profitable working practices.

The Sicily Decalogue is a policy statement that has as its main concerns actions to foster compromise, co-ordination and co-operation among all stakeholders; to improve knowledge and increase awareness about WHP; to facilitate access to technical assessment and expertise and to make available tools for specific needs.

These 10 recommendations were classified under three categories:

  1. Physical and organizational infrastructure
  2. Human resources
  3. Guidance

Main findings

Sociocultural models originating 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, the social and cultural context of these countries must be taken into account as well as the different service developments that have occurred in these countries in recent years.

The main challenges to be faced in improving the practice of WHP is to translate these recommendations into action and to obtain the active participation of all key stakeholders in the process. These challenges still hold true today.



Sicily decalogue (PDF 0.7 MB)

Countries involved

Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain