EU4Health programme enters into force

EU4Health programme enters into force

EPF welcomes the entry into force of the EU4Health programme, made official on 29 March 2021 with its publication on the Official Journal of the European Union.

After  the vote on the programme by the European Parliament on 9 March and the adoption by the European Council on 17 March,  , the publication on the Official Journal marks the last step towards making €5.1 billion available to strengthen the resilience of health systems and promote innovation in the health sector. The EU4Health programme will make a significant contribution to the post-COVID-19 recovery by making the EU population healthier, supporting the fight against cross-border health threats and boosting the EU's preparedness and capability to respond effectively to future health crises, as part of a future strong European Health Union.

Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety said: “As of today, we start charting a new course for EU health policy. The entry into force of our EU4Health Programme will give us the tools at hand to make long-standing changes in public health. This unprecedented budget of €5.1 billion will enable us to make targeted investments to enhance our crisis preparedness and build stronger, more resilient and more accessible health systems. This is what our citizens rightfully expect from a European Health Union.”

The EU4Health Programme is an ambitious and dedicated funding programme for 2021-2027 to ensure a high level of human health protection in all Union policies and activities in keeping with the One Health approach. The Programme, proposed by the Commission on 28 May 2020, is the EU's response to COVID-19, which has had a major impact on medical and healthcare staff, patients and health systems in the EU.  EU4Health is the largest EU health programme ever in monetary terms and will provide funding to EU countries, health organisations and NGOs.

EU4Health aims to:

  • Improve and foster health in the Union;
  • Protect people in the Union from serious cross-border threats to health;
  • Enhance the availability, accessibility and affordability of medicinal products, medical devices and crisis-relevant products;
  • Strengthen health systems, their resilience and resource efficiency.

On 24 March, the European Commission organised the workshop “EU4Health Programme 2021: potential solutions for a healthier European Union”, a full-day workshop to explore potential solutions for EU-wide health challenges under the four strands of the Programme by gathering stakeholders’ feedback. EPF’s Acting Executive Director, Elisabeth Kasilingam presented the European Patients’ Forum's views on the Programme during the dedicated session “Towards a progressive, impactful and patient-centred EU4Health programme”. In particular, the presentation highlighted our inputs on the main pillars of the Programme and stressed the importance of patient organisations as key partners for the implementation of the ambitious EU4Health plans.

The recording of the webinar and the relevant documents are available here.

To know more about EPF's position on the EU4Health Programme, visit the links below: