The relationship between the environment and health has been the focus of increasing attention on the international and European stages. The World Health Organisation (WHO) - Europe has played a catalysing role by organising a cycle of ministerial conferences on the environment and health since 1989. At the same time, the European Union has made the environment and health one of its political priorities. During the WHO-Europe conference in Helsinki, each Member State undertook to draw up a national environment and health action plan.
In 2003, Belgium launched its own action plan, called NEHAP. NEHAP provides a coherent framework for action by the various institutional partners responsible for these areas: the Federal Authority, Regions and Communities. It includes a series of practical recommendations. A cooperation agreement makes it possible to grant financial support for projects and actions which contribute to the improvement of health and/or the environment in the country.
In 2008, Belgium launched the second NEHAP (NEHAP2), which still runs today.