Virtual Workshop on Air Pollution and Health in Southeast Europe

June 8, to June 9, 2021 CEST

As fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels in Southeast Europe have remained higher than in those of Western Europe for decades, public and governmental interest in the topic increases, and the demand for data and evidence on air pollution levels and trends as well as health effects is growing. In an effort to focus the discussions related to air quality and health, the Health Effects Institute (HEI), the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE), the European Respiratory Society (ERS), the Medical University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, and environmental health institutions in Serbia will jointly host a virtual workshop on June 8-9, 2021 (1-4 PM CET) to review the status of current evidence on the health effects of air pollution in the Southeast European region and its interlinkage to current policy debate and actions. The workshop is part of the larger HEI project in Southeast Europe funded by the Clean Air Fund.

We encourage participation from colleagues across the Southeast Europe region from academic/research institutes, healthcare organizations, professional societies, national and regional nonprofit groups, bi- and multi-lateral organizations, federal and local government agencies, ministries, and other organizations. 

Register now


Day 1: Health effects of ambient air pollution: context, evidence and research strategies

Jun 08, 2021 - 1:00pm CEST

1:00 PM Opening Remarks

Keynote Talks

Jun 08, 2021 - 1:15pm CEST

Chairs: Dan Greenbaum, HEI and Barbara Hoffmann, University of Düsseldorf

1:15 PM Health basis for air quality policies in Europe

  • Dorota Jarosinska

    World Health Organization European Centre for Environment and Health (ECEH)

1:23 PM European air quality policy framework

  • Vanda Jakir

    Clean Air Unit, Directorate-General for the Environment, European Commission

1:31 PM What have we learned in the last decade about health effects of air pollution?

  • Zorana J. Andersen

    University of Copenhagen


Jun 08, 2021 - 1:45pm

Session 1: Air Quality and Health Impacts of Air Pollution in Southeast Europe

Jun 08, 2021 - 1:55pm CEST

Chair: Hristina Vojvodic, Renewable and Environmental Regulatory Institute, Serbia

1:55 PM Current regional air quality situation

  • Alberto González Ortiz

    European Environment Agency (EEA)

2:10 PM Regional/national perspectives

  • Elizabet Paunovic

    World Health Organization [retired]

  • Uros Rakic

    Institute of Public Health of Serbia 

  • Angel Dzhambov

    Medical University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria 


Jun 08, 2021 - 2:40pm CEST


Jun 08, 2021 - 2:55pm CEST

Session 2: Progress in methods to study health effects of air pollution

Jun 08, 2021 - 3:00pm CEST

Chair: Tamara Schikowski, IUF-Leibniz Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Duesseldorf

3:00 PM Primer 1: How do we measure air quality and exposure to air pollution?

  • Kees de Hoogh

    Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and Basel University, Switzerland

3:20 PM Primer 2: Epidemiological designs to study the effects of short- and long-term exposure to air pollution

  • Evi Samoli

    National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece


Jun 08, 2021 - 3:45pm CEST

Meeting Day 1 Closing Remarks

Jun 08, 2021 - 3:55pm CEST

Meeting Day 1 Adjourns

Jun 08, 2021 - 4:00pm CEST

Day 2: Using data on health impacts to inform policymaking

Jun 09, 2021 - 1:00pm CEST

1:00 PM Welcome

Opening remarks

Jun 09, 2021 - 1:05pm CEST

Chairs: Bob O’Keefe, HEI and Zorana Andersen, University of Copenhagen 

Current status of air pollution and health policies/action in Southeastern Europe/Western Balkans

  • Aleksandra Imširagić-Đurić

    Assistant Minister, Sector for Environmental Management, Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia

  • Alex Simidchiev

    Member of Parliament of Bulgaria 


Jun 09, 2021 - 1:25pm CEST

Session 3: Relevance of various air pollution sources in driving health impacts

Jun 09, 2021 - 1:30pm CEST

Chairs: Mira Jovanovski Dasic, Director of the SEEHN Secretariat, and Angel Dzhambov, Medical University of Plovdiv

1:30 PM How do different sources contribute to population exposure to key air pollutants in the region?

  • Branislava I. Matić

    Institute of Public Health of Serbia

  • Dima Tsanova

    Medical University – Pleven, Bulgaria 

2:00 PM Evaluating the benefits of air pollution interventions

  • Hanna Boogaard
    , Health Effects Institute


Jun 09, 2021 - 2:10pm CEST


Jun 09, 2021 - 2:25pm CEST

Session 4: Using data on health impacts for policymaking

Jun 09, 2021 - 2:30pm CEST

Chair: Michal Krzyzanowski, World Health Organization [retired]

2:30 PM Primer 3: Approaches for estimating health impacts (GBD vs. EU-EEA vs. WHO)

  • Pierpaolo Mudu

    World Health Organization European Centre for Environment and Health (ECEH)

2:50 PM Q&A

3:00 PM Panel Discussion: Application of health impact information in policymaking

  • Markus Amann

    International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

  • Ivaylo Hlebarov

    Za Zemiata

  • Aleksandar Macura

    RES Foundation, Serbia

  • Vlatka Matkovic

    Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)

  • Elizabet Paunovic

    World Health Organization [retired]


Jun 09, 2021 - 3:40pm CEST

Meeting Day 2 Closing Remarks

Jun 09, 2021 - 3:50pm CEST

Meeting Adjourns

Jun 09, 2021 - 4:00pm CEST
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United States