How is the programme designed to deliver results?


The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented health crisis in Europe, straining national health systems and resulting in severe human suffering and socio-economic consequences. The crisis revealed the fragility of national health systems and the health disparities across population groups, Member States, and regions. It also demonstrated the importance of coordination among European countries to protect people’s health and the need of a forceful EU approach for a safer Europe, both during crises and in normal times.

The Union has a central role to play in accelerating progress, coordination and cooperation in tackling health challenges in Europe.

Health is an investment and the EU4Health is the largest ever EU investment in health. It is a clear message that the health of people is EU priority.

EU4Health will support and complement national policies and will optimize its value added by supporting actions in relation to which there are advantages and efficiency gains from collaboration and cooperation at Union level, and actions that have an impact on the internal market. The programme will pave the way towards a strong European Health Union, in which all Member States prepare and respond timely to health crises; medical supplies--including crisis‑relevant products—are available, affordable and innovative; and all countries work together to improve health systems and fight communicable and non-communicable diseases.


EU4Health will provide the means and the instruments for delivering on the EU Health policy. Four general objectives represent the breath and the ambitions of the programme: 

  1. Improve & foster health in the Union;
  2. Protect people from serious cross-border health threats;
  3. Improve access to medicinal products, medical devices, crisis-relevant products;
  4. Strengthen health systems.

EU4Health will help Member States to reach the sustainable development goals (in particular SDG3 “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”) and apply, where relevant, the 'One Health' approach, recognizing that human health is connected to animal health and to the environment.


Ten specific objectives identify key areas of intervention under the above four general objectives, as follows:

  1. Improve and foster health in the Union:
    • Disease prevention & health promotion;
    • International health initiatives & cooperation.
  2. Protect people from serious cross-border health threats:
    • Prevention, preparedness & response to cross-border health threats;
    • Complementing national stockpiling of essential crisis-relevant products;
    • Establishing a reserve of medical, healthcare & support staff.
  3. Improve access to medicinal products, medical devices, crisis-relevant products:
    • Enhancement of availability, accessibility & affordability of medicinal products, medical devices and crisis-relevant products.
  4. Strengthen health systems:
    • Strengthening health data, digital tools & services, digital transformation of healthcare;
    • Enhancing access to healthcare;
    • Developing and implementing EU health legislation and evidence-based decision making;
    • Integrated work among MS health systems.

Health challenges are cross-dimensional by nature and, EU4Health is implemented in overall consistency, synergy and complementarity with Union programmes, policies, instruments and actions.


  • EUR 2 626.9 millionTotal financial programming 2021-2027
2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027
327.5 788.7 294.7 308.1 318.1 326.2 263.7

In EUR million. Top-ups coming from NextGenerationEU are included.


Responding to the complexity of health issues, EU4Health will initially support a broad range of actions and initiatives under four overarching ‘strands’, namely: (1) crisis preparedness, (2) disease prevention, (3) health systems and healthcare workforce and (4) Digital. Cancer is a major initiative and a transversal strand.

Delivery mode

EU4Health will be implemented in direct management, (mainly by the European Health and Digital Executive Agency), as well as in indirect management.

Performance framework: more information

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Where are we in the implementation?

You will find information on the programme implementation in this webpage.

It will be updated when the programme will have started on an annual basis alongside the publication of the draft budget and the discharge.

Next publication (estimation): June 2022.

Predecessor programmes 2014-2020

EU4Health is a new programme. It builds on the positive results of the 3rd Health programme under the 2014-2020 MFF, of which it continues many actions (Enhanced crisis readiness; Support to Europe Beating Cancer Action Plan; Support to Pharmaceuticals Strategy), albeit with key novelties. Relative to its predecessor, EU4Health features unprecedented level of investment and covers a much broader scope.

European Union action in the field of health

  • EUR 452.3 millionBudget allocation 2014-2020

Overall execution (2014-2020)

  Total %
Commitments EUR 452.1 million
Payments EUR 305.3 million

This graph includes implementation based on voted budget appropriations and carried-over appropriations.


Key monitoring indicators

  Baseline Progress Target Results Assessment
Member States that have national initiatives on the reduction of saturated fat (1) 12
28 24 Member States out of 28 On track
Member States in which the European accreditation scheme for breast cancer services is implemented  
28 6 Member States out of 28 Deserves attention
Member States integrating coherent approaches in their preparedness plans (2)  
28 22 Member States out of 28 Moderate progress
Member States deploying or using patient summaries data/e-prescription in line with the EU guidelines  
18 23 Member States compared to target of 18 On track
European reference networks established  
30 24 networks out of 30 On track
Widening of established European reference networks  
1 450 1 185 healthcare units joined reference networks out of 1 450 On track

NB: As of 31 January 2020, there are 27 Member States.

% of target achieved by the end of 2020



Concrete examples of achievements

  • 24European reference networks established (involving healthcare providers across Europe) with the aim of tackling complex or rare medical diseases or conditions that require highly specialised treatment and a concentration of knowledge and resources.
  • 1 185healthcare providers and centres of expertise have joined the European reference networks.
  • EUR 6.9 millionin EU contributions to the Joint Action on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare-Associated Infections, which supports EU Member States in developing and implementing effective ‘one health’ action plans against antimicrobial resistance and healthcare-associated infections.
  • 23Member States using the tools and mechanisms identified in order to contribute to effective results in their health systems, addressing shortages of resources, both human and financial, and facilitating the voluntary uptake of innovations in public health intervention and prevention strategies.

Programme Performance Overview

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