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Public Health

Health-EU newsletter 241 - Focus

A dream machine – The EU Health Programme turns ideas into actions that benefit EU citizens

Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis talks to us about the Third EU Health Programme, gearing up for the High Level Conference on the Programme, which takes place in Brussels on 30 September 2019.

What is the EU Health Programme?

The Health Programme is a funding instrument that supports the development and implementation of health policy and encourages innovation in health. But calling it a funding instrument doesn’t really do it justice – it’s more of a lifeline. The Health Programme supports national authorities and health actors to help prevent citizens from becoming ‘patients’ through health prevention and promotion and protection. It supports European Reference Networks to help people with rare diseases to get the diagnosis and care they need, and it protects all of us by supporting surveillance at points of entry and the rapid identification of rare pathogens.

The Programme also helps the Member States – it co-funds public health interventions and novel initiatives at local, regional and national level, so that good ideas can be turned into good practices and those good practices can then be shared across Europe.

How does it work?

The Third Health Programme(2014 - 2020) has made € 449.4 million available to more than 7300 organisations, such as Member State authorities, academia, NGOs and international organisations. So far more than 350 actions have been funded through grants and tenders; grant funding is generally joint funding, with the Commission covering most part of the overall costs. The Programme is managed by the Commission’s Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency and is open to organisations in all EU countries, as well as Bosnia Herzegovina, Iceland, Moldova, Norway, and Serbia.

What has it accomplished?

I’m glad you asked! Part of the reason we are holding this conference is to showcase some of the success stories co-financed by the Third Health Programme in various fields such as disease prevention, health systems, health threats and health information. Tangible results have been achieved in many areas, like making sure that medical devices like ultrasound and MRI machines, catheters and cardiac pace makers are safe throughout their periods of use, strengthening cooperation to fight vaccine-preventable diseases and controlling the use of tobacco, which is the number one cause of preventable death.
As you can see, the activities supported by the Health Programme are diverse, but they all contribute to meeting one of four main objectives: 1. to promote health, prevent diseases, and foster supportive environments for healthy lifestyles; 2. to protect citizens from serious cross-border health threats; 3. to contribute to innovative, efficient and sustainable health systems; 4. to facilitate access to better and safer healthcare for Union citizens.

What happens after the Third Health Programme ends in 2020?

As European Commissioner for Health, I am working hard to make sure that there is a strong health dimension in the future 2021-2027 EU budget. We need to keep investing in people and promoting equal opportunities, social protection and inclusion. By doing so, we will contribute to health in many ways, from fighting cancer to improving crisis preparedness. Good health must be the basis on which everything else is built, including our economies and our security. No matter what the future brings, we can only meet it in confidence if we are in good health.

Activities at EU level

EU Health Programme

European Commission – Health and Food Safety

EU Health Programme

Consumers, Health, Agriculture, Environment and Food Agency


High-Level conference on the EU Health Programme takes place on 30 September 2019

The conference will highlight the results of the current and previous EU Health Programmes and present the new approach in the future Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027. EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis hosts the event.

Watch the High-Level EU Health Programme Conference via webstreaming

Watch live during the event, or find the recording of the event at this link shortly afterwards.

Share in their success! New brochure highlights EU Health Programme Success Stories

Showcased in this brochure are some particularly successful projects in the Health Programme’s four target areas – supporting healthy lifestyles, protecting citizens against cross-border health threats, contributing to health systems and improving access to better and safer healthcare.

Watch the EU Health Programme video

Discover more about the EU Health Programme in this short video.

Apply now! Call for Proposals open until 10 October for Project Grants

The call for EU Health Programme 2019 Project Grants is for two types of projects, those concerning disease registries for the European Reference Networks and Stakeholder actions to implement the EU guidelines on prudent use of antimicrobials in human health.

Call for tenders open until 10 October 2019 for Provision of Options and Recommendations for an EU Citizens’ Vaccination Card

Based on a mapping of existing vaccination cards, the contractor shall develop, test and evaluate proposals for an EU citizens’ vaccination card that takes into account potentially different national vaccination schedules and meets other criteria.

Find out more about available EU funding

Information about grants, tenders, joint actions and operating grants can be found on this webpage.

Or receive notification by email each time a new call is published!

Register with the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency notification system and you’ll receive an email each time a new call is published, giving you the maximum amount of time to respond!

Find your National Focal Point expert for the EU Health Programme

National Focal Points are national experts for the Health Programme in member states and participating countries. These representatives are appointed by their national health ministries.

Want to participate in the EU Health Programme? Find out more here!

The ‘Beneficiary’s Corner’ webpage provides links to a Guide for Applicants, information about project management and more.

Infosheets explain some of the health issues EU-funding addresses

Find out more about why the EU invests in various health-related areas like ehealth, frailty, evolving health systems, combatting antimicrobial resistance and other areas by reading these summaries.

2019 Work Programme of the Third EU Health Programme

The Commission is required to adopt annual work programmes to set out actions to be undertaken, including the indicative allocation of financial resources. These actions fall under the four objectives and 23 thematic priorities identified in the Programme Regulation.

Work as an expert

The European Union Institutions appoint external experts to assist in the evaluation of grant applications, projects and tenders, and to provide opinions and advice in specific cases.