The EU4Health programme was adopted as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to reinforce crisis preparedness in the EU. The pandemic highlighted the fragility of national health systems. The EU4Health programme will bring a contribution to the long-term health challenges by building stronger, more resilient and more accessible health systems.
Health is an investment and, with a €5.3 billion budget during the 2021-27 period, the EU4Health programme is an unparalleled EU financial support in the health area. EU4Health is a clear message that public health is a priority for the EU and it is one of the main instruments to pave the way to a European Health Union.
Established by Regulation (EU) 2021/522, EU4Health brings an EU added value and complements the policies of the Member States to pursue four general objective representing the ambitions of the programme and ten specific objectives representing the areas of intervention:
- Improve and foster health
- Health promotion and disease prevention, in particular cancer
- International health initiatives and cooperation
- Protect people
- Prevention, preparedness and response to cross-border health threats
- Complementing national stockpiling of essential crisis-relevant products
- Establishing a reserve of medical, healthcare and support staff
- Access to medicinal products, medical devices and crisis-relevant products
- Ensuring that these products are accessible, available and affordable
- Strengthen health systems
- Reinforcing health data, digital tools and services, digital transformation of healthcare
- Enhancing access to healthcare
- Developing and implementing EU health legislation and evidence-based decision making
- Integrated work among national health systems
Objectives of the EU4Health programme
EU4Health and the European Health Union
EU4Health will pave the way to a European Health Union by investing in urgent health priorities:
- response to the COVID-19 crisis and reinforcing the EU’s resilience for cross-border health threats
- Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan
- Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe
Other areas, such as health systems’ digitalisation, reducing the number of antimicrobial-resistant infections and improving vaccination rates will also be boosted.
The EU will expand successful initiatives like the European Reference Networks for rare diseases and continue to pursue international cooperation on global health threats and challenges.
EU4Health is implemented by annual Work Programmes supporting a broad range of actions that are clustered under four overarching “strands” with a cross-cutting focus on cancer.
- Crisis preparedness
- Health promotion & disease prevention
- Health systems & healthcare workforce
The programme provides funding to eligible entities, health organisations and NGOs from EU countries, or non-EU countries associated to the programme.
A targeted Stakeholders consultation took place from 16/5/2022 to 27/6/2022. A Stakeholders event was organised on 08/07/2022. As a result the following documents were produced:
- EU4Health Stakeholders Consultation – Summary & Key Insights
- EU4Health Stakeholders Event – Summary & Key Outcomes
- EU4Health Stakeholders Consultation – Stakeholders Posters
Many actors are necessary to make EU4Health a reality:
- EU countries are consulted on the priorities and strategic orientations of the programme and work together with the Commission in the ‘EU4Health Steering Group’ to ensure consistency and complementarity with national health policies. They provide their opinion in the EU4Health Programme Committee before the adoption of the annual work programmes.
- Third countries associated to the EU4Health programme participate in the consultation process and observe the work of the EU4Health Steering Group and Programme Committee. They benefit of the funding as any other EU country.
- Stakeholders including representatives of civil society and patients’ associations, academics and organisations of healthcare professionals, provide input on priorities and strategic orientations and on the needs to be addressed through the annual work programme.
- The European Parliament is informed about the progress of the preparatory work and outreach activities with stakeholders.
- The European Commission prepares, adopts and implements the annual work programmes, and monitors and reports on the progress regarding fulfilment of the programme objectives. It may also seek the views of relevant decentralised agencies and of independent experts in the field of health on technical or scientific matters of relevance for the implementation of the programme.
- The Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA) implements the programme.
Associated non-EU countries
Norway, Iceland, Ukraine and Moldova are associated to the EU4Health Programme.
The association and participation of Norway and Iceland (EFTA countries) to the EU4Health Programme is governed by the Protocol 31 on cooperation in specific fields outside the four freedoms of the Agreement on the European Economic Area (OJ No L 1, 3.1.1994, p. 3).
The European Commission signed an association agreement with Ukrainian and Moldovan authorities that will open access to EU funding for both countries.
Funding & Tenders
Funding opportunities under the EU4Health Programme are published by the Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA). Please frequently visit HaDEA’s pages on calls for proposals and calls for tenders.
Synergies and complementarities with other funds
Health challenges are cross-cutting by nature. EU4Health works together with other Union programmes, policies, instruments and actions:
- European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) to support vulnerable groups in accessing healthcare
- European Regional and Development Fund to improve regional health infrastructure
- Horizon Europe for health research
- Union Civil Protection Mechanism/rescEU to create stockpiles for emergency medical supplies
- Digital Europe and Connecting Europe Facility for creating the digital infrastructure needed for digital health
- InvestEU Programme
- Single Market Programme
- Recovery and Resilience Facility
- Emergency Support Instrument
- Regulation (EU) 2021/522 establishing a Programme for the Union’s action in the field of health (‘EU4Health Programme’) for the period 2021-2027
- Press release: Commission welcomes entry into force of EU4Health programme
- Questions and Answers: EU4Health Programme 2021-2027
- Press release: Commission welcomes political agreement on EU4Health
- EU4Health proposal (and annexes)
- EU4Health MEMO
- EU4Health factsheet
- Recovery plan for Europe
- MFF 2021-2027 Communication
Previous Health Programmes
Since 2003, EU health programmes have generated knowledge and evidence as a basis for informed policymaking and further research. This includes best practice, tools, and methodologies that benefitted both the public health community and citizens directly (e.g. improving diagnostic tests, supporting EU countries in developing national actions plans on cancer, improving patient care).