European Reference Networks


The European Commission ran a first call for proposals in 2016. Further calls for new healthcare providers to join the existing networks, as well as calls for new ERNs will follow over the coming years.

Establishing an ERN

According to the implementing decision  (annex), 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 their 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  (annex) (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.