A global perspective
Strategic alignment of EIRENE RI
The EIRENE RI was designed to bridge several ESFRI domains and answer a need for the research infrastructure linking environmental exposures with health identified in the latest ESFRI Roadmap. While the chemical exposures are in the centre of attention of multiple strategic documents (including most recent Green Deal) there is currently no ESFRI project or landscape addressing chemical exposures, necessary technologies for their characterization, or longitudinal population cohorts enabling the long-term assessment of their health impacts. EIRENE will not only fill the gap but increase interdisciplinarity of existing projects by enhancing their synergies.
Horizon Europe, the next European research and innovation framework programme, is focused on five missions: cancer, adaptation to climate change including the societal transformation, healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters, smart cities and soil health and food. An impact of environmental exposures on population health is most relevant for cancer. However, the tools and services developed within the EIRENE RI and provided to the research community are widely applicable also in all the others: adaptation to climate change including the societal transformation (long-term population cohorts), healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters (NTS analytical approaches for assessment of toxic exposures, geospatial tools), smart cities (long-term population cohorts, geospatial tools) and soil health and food (NTS analytical approaches for assessment of toxic exposures, long-term population cohorts).
Ostrava Declaration on Environment and Health
Declaration of the Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health signed in Ostrava in 2017 stated that environmental pollution, climate change, exposure to harmful chemicals and the destabilization of ecosystems disproportionately affect socially disadvantaged and vulnerable population groups. It was recommended to develop mechanisms to gather and analyse relevant evidence on health and the environment as a basis for future decisions, and to support open, transparent and relevant research on the established and emerging environment and health risks in order to strengthen the evidence-base to guide the policy-making and preventive action. Suggested actions include providing a platform for collaboration, communication, and knowledge transfer, expanding key strategic partnerships, strengthening the knowledge and capacity of health and environment professionals for health impact assessment, and increasing the role of education. EIRENE RI was designed with a vision of providing a sustainable solution to these needs by bringing together complementary capacities existing in the member states and upgrading them into the pan-European open-access infrastructure capable of addressing current scientific and societal challenges and advancing the research and innovation in Europe.
European Green Deal
The Green Deal adopted by the EC in 2019 consists of the policy objectives including climate neutrality, biodiversity preservation, circular economy, clean energy, smart mobility, sustainable food strategy but especially the overarching ambition of zero pollution. This is very relevant challenge that cannot be addressed without research capacities in the area of chemical pollution, characterization of toxic mixtures, their sources, and environmental and health impacts.
Sustainable Development Goals
UN Sustainable Development Goals serve as the cornerstone for development of other strategies, including the development strategies of the EU and Horizon Europe. EIRENE RI (and a wide range of services it will provide) is especially relevant for tackling the SDG3 on Health, SDG11 Sustainable cities, SDG6 on Clean water and sanitation, SDG9 on Infrastructures but also many others.