Stroke Action Plan for Europe

Stroke is the second leading cause of death and the biggest cause of adult disability in Europe, Our report, The Economic Impact of Stroke in Europe, predicts that even though many European countries have successfully decreased the rate of new strokes and stroke deaths over the last two decades, the numbers of strokes across Europe continue to increase due to the ageing population and risk factors associated with stroke such as diabetes.

Despite these facts, many countries have not developed a specific strategy to address stroke prevention, treatment and care.

Building a healthier Europe 

To help address this problem, we developed the Stroke Action Plan for Europe 2018-2030, in collaboration with the European Stroke Organisation (ESO), which sets out targets and recommendations across the whole care pathway: primary prevention, organisation of stroke care, acute stroke care, secondary prevention, rehabilitation, evaluation of outcomes and life after stroke.

There are four overarching goals for 2030:

  • reduce the absolute number of strokes by 10%
  • treat 90% or more of all patients with stroke in a dedicated stroke unit as the first level of care
  • have national plans for stroke encompassing the entire chain of care from primary prevention through to life after stroke
  • fully implement national strategies for multisector public health interventions to promote and facilitate a healthy lifestyle, and reduce environmental (including air pollution), socioeconomic and educational factors that increase the risk of stroke.

In addition the Stroke Action Plan for Europe outlines key recommendations from seven domains covering the stroke care pathway from prevention to life after stroke.

The Stroke Action Plan for Europe can now be downloaded here

The version which was published in the European Stroke Journal is available here

A summary of recommendations is available here

Taking action

To find out more about the programme and activities, visit

The implementation of the Stroke Action Plan for Europe started in August 2019 and this work is steered by a joint SAFE-ESO committee. SAFE is represented by Arlene Wilkie, SAFE Director General, Grethe Lunde and Chris Macey, SAFE Board Members.

Translated versions of the Stroke Action Plan for Europe

The Stroke Action Plan for Europe has been translated into five languages French, Portuguese, Russian, Polish and Spanish.

In addition. the following organisations have translated the Plan into their own languages: