Public Health (PH) in Europe has become much more vocal about its moral understandings since 1992. The rising awareness that PH issues were inseparable from issues of human rights and social justice almost self-evidently directed the agenda of EUPHA and the European Public Health (EPH)-conferences. Problems of cultural and behavioural change, and environmental issues on a global scale were also added. The Section Ethics in PH invited the EPH community to join in 'arm chair thinking': coming together at conferences not only to share the 'how' and 'what' of PH research, practices and policies but also the 'why'. Time has been reserved to genuinely discuss what moral values are at stake in the work of PH and to actively develop a moral language and framework for PH Ethics. The challenge for the next decades is to find ways to involve the general public in the cultivation of a shared moral PH literacy.