As a regional initiative, the SEEHN aims to promote health in the region of Southeast Europe and to secure and maintain ownership and leadership by the countries of the region during the implementation of certain priority activities in public health in Southeast Europe, identified by the ministers of health of the SEE countries, with a special emphasis on the promotion of mental health, tobacco control, communicable diseases, blood and blood products safety, food safety, public health systems, promotion of maternal and neonatal health, etc.
With the aim of promoting regional cooperation in public health and strengthening the administrative capacities for development of human resources in public health, in 2008 and 2009 the SEEHN member states signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the Future of the South-Eastern Europe Health Network in the Framework of the South East European Co-operation Process (2008 and beyond).
The Memorandum of Understanding on the Future of the South-Eastern Europe Health Network in the Framework of the South East European Cooperation Process (2008 and beyond), as a technical structure of the SEEHN also established the operations of the Regional Health Development Centres (RHDC), tasked with the implementation of public health programmes, projects, and activities in the technical areas for which they have been designated.
The future plans of the network centre on ensuring a functional SEEHN Secretariat seated in Skopje so that it is capable of managing all the activities of the network, including the operations of the offices of the SEEHN member states and the RHCDs.
With its designation as the host country of the SEEHN Secretariat, the Republic of Macedonia became a regional cooperation leader and ensured strengthening of institutional and organizational capacities for regional cooperation in SEE.
SEEHN has a rotating presidency (every 6 months), January to June 2010 being held by Macedonia, and currently held by Bulgaria.
The estimated financial and in-kind contribution to SEEHN by the 10 partner countries, the Council of Europe, the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) and the WHO Regional Office for Europe, so far exceeds 8 million Euros.
Each of these RHDCs will cover a technical area as agreed by the SEEHN, based on a proposal submitted by the interested country.
SEEHN welcomes new partners and is looking forward to building sustainable and strong public health alliance in Europe today.
The Seat of the Secretariat of SEEHN in Skopje shows the sustainability of that commitment and firm leadership in an unprecedented regional cooperation for public health in SEE.