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Public Health

Ex-post evaluation of the 2nd Health Programme 2008-2013

Ex-post evaluation of the 2nd Health programme 2008-2013 under Decision No 1350/2007/EC establishing a second programme of Community action in the field of health

The Second Programme of Community Action in the Field of Health 2008-2013 is the main instrument the European Commission uses to implement the EU Health Strategy .

It came into force on 1 January 2008 and is intended to complement, support and add value to the policies of the Member States and contribute to increase solidarity and prosperity in the European Union by protecting and promoting human health and safety and by improving public health.

Health programme - Factsheet
Health programme - Booklet

The programme has three overarching objectives. It seeks to:

  1. improve citizens' health security,
    • developing the capacity of the EU community to respond to communicable and non communicable diseases and health threats from physical, chemical and biological sources, including bio-terrorism; for example with emergency planning and preparedness measures
    • promoting actions related to patient safety through high quality and safe healthcare, scientific advice and risk assessment, safety and quality of organs, substances of human origin and blood
  2. promote health and reduce health inequalities, increasing healthy life years and promoting healthy ageing
  3. generate and disseminate health information and knowledge, exchanging knowledge and best practice on health issues

The Health Programme 2008-2013 is managed by the Commission with the assistance of the Consumers, Health and Food Executive Agency (Chafea).

The total budget for the programme is EUR: 321 500 000. The Programme is implemented by means of annual work plans which set out priority areas and the criteria for funding actions under the Programme.

The EU is required to ensure that human health is protected across all policy areas, and to work with EU countries to improve public health, prevent human illness and eliminate sources of danger to physical and mental health.

The EU Health Programme outlines the strategy for ensuring good health and healthcare. It feeds into the overall Europe 2020 strategy which aims to make the EU a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy promoting growth for all – one prerequisite for which is good health. The Programme is focusing on major Commission priorities, such as:

  • Jobs, growth and investment (health of population and health care services as a productive factor for growth and jobs)
  • Internal market (for pharmaceuticals, medical devices, cross-border health care directive, and Health Technology Assessment)
  • Single digital market (including eHealth)
  • Justice and fundamental rights (fighting against health inequalities)
  • Migration policy
  • Security (preparedness and management of serious cross border health threats).

What is the Health Programme?

The Health Programme is a funding instrument to support cooperation among EU countries and underpin and develop EU health activities. The legal basis for the Health Programme is agreed with the European Parliament and the Council for a period of several years.

Third Health Programme (2014-2020)

Regulation (EU) 282/2014 is the legal basis for the current Health Programme. With a budget of €449.4 million and throughout 23 priority areas, the Health Programme serves four specific objectives:

  1. Promote health, prevent disease and foster healthy lifestyles through 'health in all policies',
  2. Protect EU citizens from serious cross-border health threats
  3. Contribute to innovative, efficient and sustainable health systems
  4. Facilitate access to high quality, safe healthcare for EU citizens.

Previous Health Programmes

The two previous health programmes from 2008-2013, and 2003-2007 generated knowledge and evidence that served as a basis for informed policymaking and further research.This included best practice, tools, and methodologies that secured benefits for both the public-health communities and citizens directly (e.g improving diagnostic tests, supporting EU countries in developing national actions plans on cancer, improving patient care).

How does it work?

The Programme is implemented by means of annual work programmes agreed with countries on a number of annually defined priority actions and the criteria for funding actions under the programme. On this basis, the Consumers Health Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (Chafea) organises calls for proposals for projects and operating grants, as well as calls for joint action and tenders. Direct grants are signed with international organisations active in the area of health.

Proposals are evaluated by the Chafea, assisted by external experts. External experts are selected through calls for expression of interest.

For more information please see here.

Who can participate?

All EU countries, Iceland, Norway, Serbia, Moldova and Bosnia & Herzegovina participate, meaning that entities registered there are also eligible to participate in the calls for proposals.

Organisations from other countries are also encouraged to get involved, however funding can not be awarded to them. Participation is open to a wide range of organisations, including:

  • Public authorities
  • Public sector bodies, in particular research and health institutions
  • Universities and higher education establishments
  • NGOs.

Funding mechanisms

There are two main funding mechanisms: grants and tenders. Grants for projects, operating grants, direct grants with international organisations and grants to EU authorities and bodies for co-financed actions (called joint actions).

The type of funding available for each action is set out each year in the work plan. Unless indicated otherwise (e.g. tenders), the basic principle is joint funding, with Commission grants covering a certain percentage of overall costs.

Application process

All the information on how to participate in the health programme, together with application forms, is available on the Chafea website.

You can get additional help and advice from your National Focal Point.