This paper examines how heatwaves are governed in Europe, by comparing health policy and practices to better understand roles, responsibilities and collaboration. The expectation that climate change will further exacerbate extreme weather events such as heat‐ waves is of primary concern to policymakers and scientists. Effective governance is fundamental to preparedness for and response to such threats. This paper explores the governance structures of European heat health action plans and provides insights into key stakeholders, roles, responsibilities and collaboration.
The findings show a need for a more deliberate and structured approach to governance in the context of NHHAPs. A cross‐sectoral approach to the identification of key stakeholders can facilitate a broader preparedness and response to heatwaves. Roles and responsibilities of stakeholders should be defined and assigned more clearly to avoid confusion and to improve effective implementation. To this extent, the paper identifies and describes seven key roles and potential stakeholders to which these roles are usually assigned. Finally, also collaboration among stakeholders can benefit from a cross‐sectoral approach, but also formal structures can be beneficial.