Bregu: Wellbeing, health and thriving population should be foundation of every growth policy
- 02 Mar 2023
RCC Secretary General takes part at the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Health in the Well-Being Economy Regional Forum
Copenhagen – “Economic growth cannot be the only and ultimate policy objective. Collective wellbeing, healthy and thriving population where no one is left behind should be the foundation of every growth policy. The ambitious post-pandemic recovery aspirations are crushed against the stark realities of our fellow citizens in South East Europe who struggle with galloping inflation and bills that consume half of their incomes. Sadly, a large portion of the energy shock continues to be absorbed by the public sector, with health and social services being among the first to suffer. We first-handed felt the brunt of demographic pressures and daunting brain drain with 67% of Western Balkans citizens stating their willingness to live and work abroad,” said Majlinda Bregu, Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), addressing the World Health Organisation (WHO) Forum in Copenhagen today.
WHO Europe’s Health in the Well-Being Economy Regional Forum taking place on 1-2 March gathers high-level representatives from health, finance, economy, nongovernmental organisations, policy-makers, United Nations and European Union agencies. The RCC Secretary General took part in the panel dubbed A Well-being Economy Approach to Addressing Cost-of-Living Increases.
“With 12.5% of people in South East Europe living below the mid-high income economy poverty line, average unemployment rate of 16% and youth unemployment reaching 34%, the South East Europe (SEE) has suffered tremendously in the last years. By unlocking the recognition of qualifications, supporting quality assurance in education, slashing communications costs with elimination of regional roaming fees, integrating youth perspective in regional policy-making, and by providing support to development of regional research infrastructures and digital start-ups and empowering and unlocking the potential of women in science and entrepreneurship we at RCC build bridges of collaborations across the Western Balkans and South East Europe. Hence the appreciation and importance of this High-Level Forum that I am happy to contribute on RCC’s behalf - to galvanize, catalyse and inspire broader set of stakeholders on the shift to a genuine well-being and caring economy approach,” concluded Bregu.
On the margins of the Forum Ms. Bregu met with the WHO Europe Regional Director Hans Kluge to talk on the future of cooperation on health especially youth mental health in the Western Balkans.