19. May 2018


The Self-Care in Europe (SCiE) is an organization to support multi-stakeholder pan-EU network of professionals with a mission to embed self-care from policy to practice across health ecosystems in Europe.The initiative is structured into three pillars: policy, public engagement, knowledge.

This Manifesto is the result of the work of the SCiE Policy Stakeholder Task Force – part of our policy pillar. Originally launched in 2018, the policy pillar’s main focus falls on strengthening the policy, regulatory and practice framework for embedding a holistic view of self-care at EU and national level; its positions are guided by a stakeholder group, and championed by MEPs.

What is self-care? For the purposes of the Task Force, the following definition of self-care is adopted:

“A learned tool enabling people to maintain health and to cope with illness and disability. Along with better health literacy it also supports optimal and timely use of available health services while avoiding a total dependency upon them for minor ailments.” 

Based on the Task Force’s agreement, the purpose of this Manifesto is three-fold:

    • It establishes the main framework of SCiE policy position, allowing the group to speak with one voice and represent the initiative
    • It outlines the top priority SCiE asks towards policy makers  
  • It outlines the SCiE goals and vision for the next 5 years, especially in light of the upcoming changes in leadership at EU level

SCiE Overarching Objectives

1 2 3
By 2020 well-being and self-care in a holistic sense  is understood and accepted as a concept in Europe Ensure self-care  is embedded as part of the measurement for success of a functioning health ecosystem from policy to practice at all levels. Build capacity and empower the various relevant stakeholders

SCiE Task Force Objectives

    • By 2020 self-care is permanently included in policy discourse at all levels, with a common definition adopted by all relevant stakeholders
    • Self-care is included as an indicator for evaluation of measuring healthcare systems across Europe
  • All relevant stakeholders are empowered through policy to incorporate and establish  self-care within their relevant environments, and a proper accountability system is set in place

Objective 1

Fact: Self-care is seen as relevant in relation to different European priorities – from m-health (especially as part of self-management) to building resilient healthcare systems. Perceptions towards self-care from people/patients are clearly positive – nine out of ten respondents in the Self Care Barometer view ‘self-care as a vital part of management and prevention of chronic conditions and diseases’ and 88.2% of the surveyed see self-care as important. With this in mind, we believe that by 2020 self-care needs to be included in policy discourse at all levels, with a common definition adopted by all relevant stakeholders.


    • We call on policy makers from the EU and national levels to actively include self-care within integrated health reform solutions on related topics such as wellbeing, work-life balance, mental health, m-health and digitalisation, patient safety, to name a few, and especially in light of upcoming changes in EU leadership
    • We call on policy makers from the international level to include self-care as an essential element of healthcare strategies, especially in light of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Self-care touches on several priority SDGs , showcasing even further that this is an issue that impacts all of us:
        • SDG 3: Good health and well-being
        • SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
      • SDG 10: Reduced inequalities
  • We call on policy makers from the national and EU levels to ensure that self-care is included as an essential part of health literacy exercises and activities across Europe and at local level

Objective 2

Fact: Self-care is crucial for improving healthcare systems performance and empowering patients, leading to less burden on these systems (e.g., less frequent GP visits). In addition to that, self-care is an important factor when living with conditions related to mental health, chronic conditions, work-life balance and patient safety to name a few.

People/patient perceptions of self-care also demonstrate that it is perceived as vital for management of conditions, improved health and quality of life, greater independence, appropriate use of GP and hospital services, improved prevention of conditions and diseases, increased productivity and greater satisfaction. With this in mind, we believe that self-care needs to be included as an indicator for evaluation on measuring healthcare systems performance across Europe.


    • We call on policy makers from the national and EU level,  as well as on the members of the EU HSPA Expert Group to include self-care as part of the performance criteria for healthcare systems in Europe
  • We call for inclusion of self-care across the continuum, from daily choices and lifestyle to major trauma and recovery from such, in order to embed it as an essential component of health and health management

Objective 3

Fact: In order to make self-care better applied in Europe, all relevant actors need to be proactively involved as well as held accountable for processes and information around the topic. This has already been touched on by the Epposi Self Care Barometer, in indicating that ‘a cultural change in the relationships between healthcare professionals (HCPs) and their patients and between the various healthcare professionals’ is needed. As outlined in the first SCiE Task Force Roundtable meeting report, the stakeholder universe of self-care is vast:

We call for the empowerment of all relevant actors through policy to incorporate and institutionalise self-care within their relevant environments. With this in mind, a proper accountability system should be set in place at all levels.


    • We call for the inclusion of self-care and self-management in the curricula of all Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) in Europe
    • All relevant stakeholders need to be taken into consideration and included in consultations and social dialogues at national, EU and international levels; exchange of information, knowledge and data between and from all relevant stakeholders on implementation of self-care should be facilitated across Member States (MS); the proper accountability measures, sanctions, and processes should be set in place at all levels
  • We call for the establishment of an EU-wide platform monitoring self-care projects, initiatives and activities across MS in order to encourage exchange of best practices, ensure reliability of information, as well as to avoid duplication of existing efforts in the field

About us/the Manifesto:

The SCiE Task Force is a forum of stakeholders working as part of the SCiE policy pillar. Third-i, a SCiE Consortium Member is the Task Force’s day-to-day coordination body.

The Task Force’s role is to strengthen the policy, regulatory and practice framework  for embedding a holistic view of self-care at EU and national level; these positions will be guided by a multi-stakeholder group, and championed by policy makers.

For further details about the Manifesto, please contact engage@third-i.eu

SCiE_ManifestoMay2018 – pdf