EAPC Task Force on the Development of Palliative Care in Europe (2020)


Over the last decade, Europe has grown to become a unified community that strengthens economic cooperation, political harmony and cultural exchange.

As a consequence of, and in response to this societal phenomenon, the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) has included under its organisational umbrella an increasing number of national and regional palliative care associations, and has represented many more individual members from different countries over the years.

The gaining of knowledge and understanding of the development of programmes to promote end of life and palliative care, and more effective pain relief across Europe has become increasingly valuable to governments and policy makers committed to improving national or regional health care systems.

An opportunity to share information and experience with other colleagues is encouraging to European health professionals interested in approaching end of life care matters in an ever more culturally diverse working environment.

Reliable information on the development and provision of palliative care across Europe, however, remains scattered. For this reason, in June 2003, the EAPC Board agreed to the creation of an official Task Force to research palliative care developments in the European region including all the countries that make up the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region, a total of 52 countries at that time.

Aims and Objectives

The aim of the Task Force is to provide up-to-date, reliable and comprehensive analyses of the development of palliative care within each European country, in order to generate and disseminate an ‘evidence base’ of current provision across the region. This overview of palliative care provision, achievements and challenges provides governments and policymakers with guidance to promote palliative care within the European region; this will, in turn, have a positive impact on providers of palliative care services in a direct, practical way through an improvement in the development of policy and practice and future service design.


Carlos Centeno


Institute Culture and Society
University of Navarra 
Click here to contact by email


Jeroen Hasselar, The Netherlands – EAPC Board link

Daniela Mosoui, Romania – EAPC Board link

An update on progress

In the last 2 years we have improved our previous methods expanding the evaluation of Palliative Care outside the specialised level of palliative care development and including the exploration of the integration of PC in Paediatrics, Public Health, Cardiology, Volunteers, Long Term Facilities, Universities and Primary Care. This work has been done in collaboration with the other EAPC Task Forces.

In Dec 2018 the first pan European survey on general palliative care national development was completed with around 100 Key persons on national development;

In Jan 2019 a 2nd survey on the integration was conducted with more than 100 specialist from the different fields.

The new ATLAS of PC in EUROPE (3rd edition) was launched at the 16th World Congress of the EAPC Berlin, Germany 2019. 

The printed version and the previous online edition of the EAPC Atlas of Palliative Care in Europe 2019 included an involuntary error affecting Ukraine. This mistake was caused by an error in the database of maps used to produce the Atlas.  All the maps have been manually corrected in the current online edition and can be checked at: https://dadun.unav.edu/handle/10171/56787

As a measure to prevent similar issues, in the future the ATLANTES Research Group will follow only the WHO geographical framework when presenting country reports. 



Arias-Casais, N.; Garralda, Eduardo; Rhee, J. Y.; De Lima, L.; Pons, Juan José; Clark, D.; Hasselaar, J.; Ling, J.; Mosoiu, D.; Centeno, Carlos. Atlas of Palliative Care in Europe 2019

Arias-Casais, N.; Garralda, Eduardo; López-Fidalgo, J.; de Lima, L.; Rhee, J. Y.; Pons, Juan José; Centeno, Carlos. Brief manual on health indicators monitoring global palliative care development., 2019           

Book Chapter

Centeno, Garralda, Payne. International Progress in Pallaitive Care. Palliative Care Textbook, Oxford University Press (OUP), in press, 2020

Scientific Articles

Arias N, Garralda E, De Lima L, Centeno C, R. J. (2019). Global Palliative Care and Cross-National Comparison: How Is Palliative Care Development Assessed? Journal of Palliative Medicine. 22; (5): 580 – 590.

Arias N, Garralda E, López-Fidalgo J, Rhee JY, Pons JJ, de Lima L, Centeno C (2019). Consensus building on health indicators to assess PC global development with an international group of experts. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 58; (3): 445 –453.

Clark D, Baur N, Clelland D, Garralda E, López-Fidalgo J, Connor S, Centeno C (2019). Mapping levels of palliative care development in 198 countries: the situation in 2017, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, In Press.