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Public Health

HERA Board

The HERA Board assists and advises HERA in the formulation of strategic decisions, ensuring that Member States’ resources and capacities are leveraged as much as possible towards joint goals. It brings together senior representatives from the European institutions, the Member States, and relevant agencies.


As an expert group in the field of health response and the preparedness, the mission of the HERA Board is to give strategic direction and advice to HERA. This includes:

  • Contributing to the preparation of the HERA’s multiannual strategic planning and the corresponding annual work plans, and shaping the strategic direction of both EU and national health preparedness and response actions;
  • Delivering opinions on proposals for activities to be implemented by HERA 
  • Initiating more detailed discussions on relevant subjects and addressing technical questions to the Advisory Forum, Civil Society Forum, and Joint Industrial Cooperation Forum 

HERA updates the group at each meeting on its activities, including threat prioritisation exercises, wastewater surveillance, clinical trials, and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) pull incentives. The Board provides important input for the steering of key actions, such as the health threat prioritisation exercise carried out in 2023 and the discussions on preparing security of supply of antibiotics for winter 2023/24. 

The HERA Board is also often called upon through written consultations, including for views on actions foreseen for the coming year under EU4Health or the HERA Work Plan. However, it also provides input on ongoing activities such as calls for proposals for stockpiling under rescEU, or accessibility for newly developed antimicrobials, as well as more ad-hoc requests as for example donations of generations to Ukraine. 


The Board is chaired by the Head of HERA, and consists of:

  • one high-level representative from each Member State (as well as one alternate member), appointed by the Commission on the basis of nominations by the relevant national authorities.
  • Representatives of Commission services  working closely with HERA (e.g. SANTE, RTD, ECHO, GROW, INTPA, SG and SJ) also participate in Board meetings.
  • A representative of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), who are invited to participate on permanent basis as observers.

Other bodies relevant to public health emergencies, as well as experts with specific expertise with respect to a subject matter on the agenda may be invited to take part in the work of the HERA Board on an ad-hoc basis. Currently, this includes a representative from Norway and Iceland.

Additional information on the HERA Board, such as meeting reports and a list of members, can be found in the Register of Commission Expert Groups.

Sherpa Group

The HERA Board is facilitated by the Sherpa group, composed of Member State representatives with technical expertise appointed to assist Board members in preparing meetings. The group representatives also serve as contact points in the Member States for the Secretariat of the Board.

The Sherpa group plays an important supportive role in the work of the Board, providing critical input on matters such as clinical trial readiness for public health emergencies in the EU, and on international crises such as the November 2022 Sudan ebolavirus outbreak.