Stroke Action Plan

Stroke Action Plan for Europe 2018 - 2030

Background information

Stroke remains one of the leading causes of death and disability in Europe, and projections show that with a ‘business as usual’ approach, the burden of stroke will not decrease in the next decade or beyond. An important contributing factor to this is that the number of older people in Europe is rising, with a projected increase of 35% between 2017 and 20501.

Fortunately, there is compelling evidence that stroke is highly preventable, treatable and manageable, and the potential exists to drastically reduce the burden of stroke and its long-term consequences. However, this requires the joint actions of Ministries of Health, other governmental bodies, Scientific and Stroke Support Organisations, healthcare professionals, clinical and preclinical researchers, and the pharmaceutical and device industries.


The Stroke Action Plan for Europe (SAP-E) used the same methodology as the Helsingborg Declarations, presenting a review of the ‘state of the art’, the state of current services, research and development priorities and targets for a series of domains in stroke care.

The SAP-E includes two additional domains, on primary prevention and life after stroke, along with research and development priorities for translational stroke research.

SAP-E 2018–2030 complements the WHO Global Action Plan on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) 2013–2020,  the WHO-Europe NCD Action Plan and the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2015 to 2030.

The work was led by a steering committee. The documents were prepared by working groups for each of the seven domains. In addition, a working group prepared research priorities for translational stroke research.

The draft documents were open to public consultation during a one-month period. The final document was prepared after a workshop in Munich on 21–23 March 2018 that was streamed live.


The SAP-E provides a basic road map and sets targets for the implementation of evidence-based preventive actions and stroke services covering the whole stroke pathway until 2030.

Progress towards the targets and research and development priorities laid out in the scientific publication of the SAP-E will be reviewed in 2021 and 2024, with a mid-term review scheduled for 2024. The extent to which the targets have been achieved will be reviewed in 2030.


Read more:

A Unified European Action Plan on Stroke 
Lancet Neurology, November 2020


1. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2017). World Population Ageing 2017 – Highlights (ST/ESA/SER.A/397) (accessed 11 October 2018).