Building on the challenges from the past year, 2021 will pave the way to the new EU4 Health Programme, which will significantly contribute to the post-COVID recovery by improving health systems in the EU.
With a €5.1 billion budget, EU4 Health is the fourth and largest of the EU Health Programmes which will provide funding to EU countries, health organisations and NGOs.
What are the main objective of this funding programme and when will it be available?
The EU4 Health Programme covers the period 2021-2027, with a focus on the early years in order to manage the crisis due to the pandemic.
The COVID-19 crisis has cast light on the need of coordinating Member States to tackle cross-border health threats and promoting the investments in health systems. In particular, this programme has three main objectives:
- Protecting people by ensuring prevention and surveillance of cross-borders threats and improving management capacity;
- Assuring availability and affordability of medicines and medical devices;
- Investing in public health in order to strengthen health systems and health care workforce.
Beyond crisis response, the EU4 Health Programme will address other important long-term challenges concerning health systems, namely inequalities in health status among population groups, access to affordable health care of good quality, uneven distribution of health care systems capacity, obstacles to the uptake and best use of digital innovations and health burden from environmental degradation and pollution. In addition, the programme will support the prevention of non-communicable and life style related diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases or diabetes, which cause premature death leading to significant social and economic costs.
How will be the EU4 Health implemented?
Member States, non-governmental and international organisations will implement the programme through EU funding in the form of grants, prizes and procurements as well as through indirect management by the European Commission and EU agencies. Some of these, namely the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), will play a key role in the defence of Europe in terms of prevention and crisis management.
The IATE term of this week is dedicated to EU4 Health Programme, also known as Programme for the Union’s action in the field of health, which describes a funding instrument aimed at ensuring human health across EU policy areas.
European Commission. 15 December 2020. Press release [ONLINE]. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_2420 [Accessed 06 January 2021]
European Commission. 28 May 2020. Questions and Answers [ONLINE]. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/QANDA_20_956 [Accessed 06 January 2021]
European Commission. 2020. Proposal for a EU4 Health Programme. Eur-Lex [ONLINE]. Available at:
https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52020PC0405 [Accessed 06 January 2021]
European Commission. 2020. EU4 Health Factsheet [ONLINE]. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/funding/docs/eu4health_factsheet_en.pdf [Accessed 06 January 2021]
European Parliament. 2020. Press room [ONLINE]. Available at:
Written by Diandra Falchieri