The Directive on the application of patients' rights in cross-border healthcare requires the European Commission to support Member States in the development of European Reference Networks (ERN), and the Commission Implementing Decision 2014/287/EU establishes the process and criteria for setting the complete lifecycle of the Networks: from the call for proposals to the assessment, approval, establishment and evaluation of ERNs.
European Reference Networks
Call for ERN
The first public call for the Networks proposals launched by DG Health and Food Safety is now closed.
Establishing an ERN
According to the Implementing Decision , to be recognised by the Commission, an ERN must fulfil the following requirements:
- Have at least 10 healthcare providers (members of a network) from at least 8 different Member-States;
- Each healthcare provider (member of a network) must be endorsed by the respective Member State;
- All Members of a Network must have common expertise in a specific field, in a specific treatment(s) or in specific diseases or health conditions;
- Submit a proposal for a Network (once the call for ERN is launched);
- Meet the criteria for Networks and its Members, as provided in the Commission Delegated Decision (a technical assessment to ensure this will be carried out by an independent assessment body);
- Gain the approval for membership, which is granted by the Board of Member States based on the independent technical assessment of the proposal.
- Healthcare providers who want to join an established ERN will have the opportunity to apply to become a member;
- All ERNs and their members will be evaluated a minimum of every 5 years.
For more information about the procedural aspects on establishing ERNs, please read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
Assessment Manual and Toolbox for ERNs
An important element in this process is the Assessment Manual and Toolbox. This is the common assessment tool for all the Network proposals, based on the criteria established in the Commission Delegated Decision on ERN.
Independent Assessment Bodies (IAB)
The technical assessment of ERN proposals will be carried out by contracted institutions or entities with a solid background and experience in the field of accreditation/certification.