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Supporting policy with scientific evidence

We mobilise people and resources to create, curate, make sense of and use knowledge to inform policymaking across Europe.

Projects and activities | Last updated: 26 Jan 2023

Loneliness in the European Union


Loneliness and social isolation are becoming increasingly recognised as public issues that need to be addressed with effective policy interventions.

In 2016, about 12% of EU citizens felt lonely more than half of the time. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the problem. In the first months following the COVID-19 outbreak, the proportion of EU citizens felt lonely more than half of the time doubled to around 25%.

Loneliness and social isolation are not just harmful to mental and physical health but can also have significant consequences for social cohesion and community trust.


Read the latest JRC Publications



Loneliness Interventions

Mapping of interventions across the EU

The JRC is mapping loneliness interventions across the EU-27. The aim of the mapping is to understand what works to tackle loneliness and identify potential gaps with the ultimate goal of informing and supporting policy making.

Based on this mapping, the JRC has published a first beta version of the online repository of interventions. Please note that the repository does not provide an exhaustive list of loneliness interventions existing in the EU-27.The purpose of the directory is to share knowledge about on-the-ground loneliness intervention strategies with policy makers, practitioners, experts as well as the more general population.

You can access the online repository by clicking on the link provided below. The user may apply filters for a set of categories to quickly search for interventions according to specific interest (e.g. loneliness interventions in 'The Netherlands' targeted at 'young people').

The repository includes interventions that have the explicit objective of addressing loneliness. However, interventions that tackle mental and social health issues with an implicit focus on loneliness are also included (e.g. active ageing initiatives). Indeed, some organizations may not use the term “loneliness” to prevent stigmatization. Thus, discarding these initiatives could mean loss of key information on best practices to tackle loneliness.

If you would like to include an intervention in the repository, please contact us at the email address provided at the bottom of this page.

Access the JRC’s online repository of loneliness interventions



► Roundtable with experts: Effective actions to address loneliness

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    See the meeting report

    Watch the webinar


    ► Interventions to reduce loneliness among youth

      See more information

      See the meeting report

      Watch the webinar


      ► Informal Expert Meeting

      See the meeting report


      Want to know more?


      Next steps

      The JRC will continue working on loneliness in the framework of a collaboration between the European Parliament, the European Commission Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion, and the JRC.

      The project will include a new EU-wide data collection on loneliness, to be carried out in 2022, and the establishment of a web platform to monitor loneliness over time and across Europe.


      Other institutions working on loneliness

      world health organization

      WHO - World Health Organization

      Global Initiative on Loneliness and Connection

      GILC - Global Initiative on Loneliness and Connection

      Recent presentations

      How social connection influences healthJulianne Holt-Lunstad

      The introduction of a systemic, socio-ecological framework for action, Edward Garcia, Julianne Holt-Lunstad

      Togetherness Hub

      TH - Togetherness Hub


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      Latest knowledge from this Project