On 13 July, the EU SHD Coalition Steering Committee met in Brussels for its third quarterly meeting. This meeting, held in person for the first time, was a great opportunity for all members to meet and reflect on the achievements of the SHD Coalition just a few years after its creation, on the policy opportunities to further advance detection of SHD, and to have a prospective discussion on how the Coalition should develop.

More specifically, during the meeting, the Secretariat of the EU SHD Coalition presented an overview of the Coalition’s initiatives starting from its founding in 2021, along with important European milestones, including the EU Non-Communicable Diseases initiative and the Joint Action on Cardiovascular Diseases and Diabetes (JACARDI). Through multiple initiatives and advocacy efforts, the coalition has effectively prioritized SHD at both European and national levels. This achievement is evident in the inclusion of SHDs in the EU NCD Initiative, the successful launch of JACARDI, and the prioritization of strengthening primary care capacities and urgent actions to address the health needs of the European elderly population as outlined in the Covid-19 report of the European Parliament COVI Committee.

The Steering Committee members were also informed about upcoming opportunities for action, such as the 2024 European elections and the inclusion of cardiovascular diseases in the current program of the Trio Presidency of the Council of the EU. These developments underscore a unique moment to advocate for tackling SHDs and promoting cardiovascular health and healthy aging among all elderly European citizens. The Steering Committee members shared their feedback, endorsed the forthcoming coalition initiatives, and engaged in discussions about its future.

Following the meeting, participants had the chance to meet with representatives from other civil society organizations and national authorities. The focus was to explore potential avenues of cooperation to foster cardiovascular health and healthy aging in Europe. Notably, fruitful discussions were held with the European Public Health Alliance, the AGE Platform Europe, the European Ageing Network, and the health attachés of Italy and Hungary. As a result of these interactions, the members agreed to strengthen cooperation with these organizations in the realm of cardiovascular health and healthy aging, and they committed to providing vital information to relevant national authorities to ensure proactive steps are taken in tackling SHDs.