Health programme


The EU is required by its founding treaty to ensure that human health is protected as part of all its policies, and to work with the EU countries to improve public health, prevent human illness and eliminate sources of danger to physical and mental health.

The EU health strategy "Together for Health" supports the overall Europe 2020 strategy.  Europe 2020 aims to turn the EU into a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy promoting growth for all – one prerequisite of which is a population in good health.

Third health programme (2014-2020)

The programme has 4 overarching objectives. It seeks to:

  1. Promote health, prevent diseases and foster supportive environments for healthy lifestyles taking into account the 'health in all policies' principle,
  2. Protect Union citizens from serious cross-border health threats,
  3. Contribute to innovative, efficient and sustainable health systems,
  4. Facilitate access to better and safer healthcare for Union citizens.

The third EU health programme is the main instrument the European Commission uses to implement the EU health strategy . It is implemented by means of annual work plans which set out priority areas and the criteria for funding actions under the programme. The total budget for the programme is € 449.4 million.

The health programme is managed by the Commission with the assistance of the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (Chafea).

EU health programme (2008-2013)

The EU health programme 2008-2013 funded projects and actions from 2008 to 2013. The annual objectives were shared with those of the Europe 2020 Strategy : investing in health and addressing the issue of the ageing society .

Criteria for funding actions under the programme were set out each year in a workplan, followed by calls for proposals for projects, operating grants, conferences and joint actions.

Interested parties could submit an application. After thorough examination of applications, the Commission selected projects to be funded. Awarding decisions were subsequently published on its website.

The Consumers, Health and Food Executive Agency (Chafea) assisted the Commission in implementing the programme.