The One Health EJP Final Meeting in Paris – celebrating over five years of One Health achievements

The One Health EJP Final Meeting was a special two-day event held at the Ministry of Health in Paris from 11th to 12th September 2023. We celebrated over five years of our One Health achievements focused on scientific research, science to policy translation, education, and training in Europe and more globally. 

One Health EJP meeting final banner with image of Paris Eiffel Tower.

Thanks to the organisers at Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire – Anses for their fantastic efforts to ensure the success of this final meeting, prior to our programme completion on 30th September 2023.

Our memorable final meeting provided a joyful gathering of One Health EJP Consortium members and external stakeholders, with 119 in-person and 84 online attendees from across Europe. Thanks to all the speakers, both internal and external to our programme, for sharing their insights on the history, lessons learned, impact and future legacy of the One Health EJP. We enjoyed a wide variety of presentations, testimonies and panel discussions by One Health EJP members, EU agency representatives from European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), European Environment Agency (EEA) and other stakeholders, including the Med-Vet-Net Association and the World Health Organisation.

The welcoming address was delivered by both Agnès Firmin-Le Bodo, Minister Delegate for Territorial Organisation and Health Professions at the French Ministry for Health and Prevention, and Benoît Vallet, Director General of Anses. Agnès skilfully summarised the importance of our programme “The One Health EJP is an example of global coordination which has made it possible to put into practice collaboration between researchers in human, animal and environmental health from a One Health perspective.”

Day1 One Health EJP Final Meeting venue in Paris with Agnes Firmin-Le Bodo presenting welcome address

Andre Jestin (former coordinator of the One Health EJP), Isabelle Behaeghel (Sciensano) and Hein Imberechts (One Health EJP Scientific Coordinator based at Sciensano) introduced the One Health EJP. Hein reminded the audience that our programme has provided “a unique One Health community in Europe” with “collaborations between members making us stronger together.” This ensured that the One Health EJP outcomes and impact in the fields of antimicrobial resistance, foodborne zoonoses and emerging threats aligned to meet the needs of our key stakeholders.

Our meeting subsequently included two sessions to demonstrate our programme’s achievements encompassing public health, animal health and food safety sectors.

Day One: Retrospective of the One Health EJP: from the idea to the realisation

Day Two: Strengthening the One Health vision and prospective – The One Health EJP contribution to science, health policy and society

An initial panel discussion among senior representatives of European Agencies (ECDC, EFSA, EEA) and One Health EJP leaders explained how the One Health EJP had engaged with main stakeholder organisations over time to construct our ambitious programme. This cooperative approach enabled an evolution of the One Health EJP framework to prioritise research topics and address stakeholders’ needs in a dynamic way. Thus, new global issues (e.g., COVID-19 pandemic) could be successfully incorporated as they arose. Key words used in this panel debate were “One Health network”, “trust”, “preparedness” and “cross-sector collaborations.”

Day1 One Health EJP Final Meeting panel discussion with EU agencies and OHEJP senior members in conference venue

A variety of lessons learned were shared in the second panel discussion with One Health EJP leaders, followed by testimonies from scientific project members and PhD students in the doctoral programme. They emphasised the wide-ranging benefits of our research, education, and training activities in shaping the One Health community across Europe – both from individual and organisational perspectives.

This first day concluded with a spectacular social dinner on the river Seine with views of the illuminated Eiffel Tower. Our One Health community celebrations continued late into the evening.

The second day started with presentations and testimonies on the One Health EJP contribution to science, health policy and society, Chaired by Roberto La Ragione (One Health EJP Education and Training Workpackage Leader at the University of Surrey). Hein Imberechts demonstrated our impact on science from the wide range of project outputs and outcomes developed for uptake by our stakeholders, as described in this branded report. Specific examples were shared by project researchers from BeONE, TOX-Detect and LIN-RES PhD across the domains of foodborne zoonoses, emerging threats and antimicrobial resistance, respectively.

Day 2 One Health EJP Final meeting - presentation on Impact on science by Project leader Cecile Boland

A panel discussion with senior representatives from ECDC, EFSA, and WHO highlighted One Health EJP impact on health policy in Europe and globally. Both Stef Bronzwaer (ECDC) and Ole Heuer (ECDC) confirmed that these EU agencies had implemented One Health EJP devised project outputs (e.g., new tools, methods, concepts,) and knowledge in their organisation’ work. Main outcomes from the One Health EJP SimEx  (delivered as a foodborne outbreak exercise scenario across 11 European countries in 2022) further demonstrated our cross-sector health impact. Dolores Gavier-Widén (National Veterinary Institute -SVA) described the outcomes from our recent Workshop on the Institutionalisation of One Health with the aim to guide countries to pursue a more effective and comprehensive health protection in the future.

Invited speaker, Spencer Moore (Wageningen University and Research) explained how the social sciences should be better integrated into One Health. We need to take a holistic approach that considers society and policy structures for improved One Health impact.

Final talks and panel discussions focused our vision for the future and sustainability of the One Health EJP. Dolores Gavier-Widén emphasised the role of the One Health EJP Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) as an important component of our legacy work. Another essential component is our innovative, interdisciplinary doctoral training programme. Dan Horton (One Health EJP Education and Training Deputy Workpackage Leader at the University of Surrey) interviewed two students, Laura (EnvDis PhD) and Filip (ToxSauQMRA PhD) who shared their positive personal experiences of conducting PhD research under our programme. Assistance by the Med-Vet-Net Association from October 2023 will help to ensure the sustainability of One Health EJP resources, as this organisation will maintain our website and data repository.

day2 phd student interviews

For the remainder of this decade, further advancements in One Health now depend on the cooperation between future European programmes and partnerships. Discussions on the future roles of the One Health-AMR European Partnership, European Partnership for Animal Health and Welfare and EU JAMRAI-2 will also ensure greater inclusion of the environment in One Health. Our recent bilateral discussions with key stakeholders are also working towards the goal of increasing One Health EJP impact in the long term. The One Health EJP legacy is stronger together!

As the meeting drew to its closure, One Health Communications Team asked Arnaud Callegari, OHEJP Project Coordinator at Anses) and Hein Imberechts (One Health EJP Scientific Coordinator at Sciensano) a question. “What aspect of the One Health EJP are you personally most proud about?”

Their responses – Hein “Glad to have filled in a gap by taking on this role in the One Health EJP” and Arnaud “We created a One Health research family” As the One Health EJP draws to its conclusion at the end of this month, Hein’s final remark was “We did it!”

Final meeting group photo of attendees outside Ministry of Health in Paris.

The One Health EJP Project Management Team and Coordination Team members wish to thank all participants who joined us in Paris. Although the One Health EJP will finish, we look forward to a shared One Health future together.

final meeting group photo with members of the project management, coordination, communications and science to policy teams taken inside the venue

For more information, read the press release written by Anses Communications Team about the Final Meeting and completion of our programme. Please see the ANSES website for more One Health EJP information. The Final Meeting agenda and additional information are available on our website. The Final Meeting sessions can be viewed as videos on YouTube and the presentations are available as PDFs to download here.



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