ESIP welcomes the political agreement for a reinforced EU4Health Programme

On November 10 the European Parliament and the German Presidency of the Council reached a political agreement on the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF 2021-2027) and recovery package. The new political package includes a budget reinforcement of EUR 15 billion. More precisely the envelope for EU4Health would be tripled compared to the budget set by the Council in July, reaching a final amount of EUR 5.1 billion. This increase was hailed by the European Parliament and Commission as a major victory. Furthermore, on November 13 the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the EU4Health programme, calling to use EU funds to increase disease prevention, foster the digital transformation of health systems, and improve crisis-preparedness with a view to mitigating shortages of medicines and medical devices. 

ESIP welcomes the proposed reinforcement of the EU4Health Programme. A stronger and more resilient Europe requires an ambitious EU4Health programme that should not only be intended as a response to the COVID-19 crisis but rather deliver on long-term health challenges like demographic ageing, antimicrobial resistance and cancer. The reinforcement of the crisis-preparedness mechanism and of the EU health agencies should also be accompanied by adequate budgetary allocation. In this regard, ESIP supports the proposal to use funds under EU4Health to improve national surveillance systems for cross-border health threats.  

Financial support under the EU4Health programme is crucial to steer a person-centred transformation of healthcare, promoting fair and equal access to treatment and improving the sustainability of healthcare systems across the EU. ESIP therefore particularly welcomes the final budget of EUR 5.1 billion negotiated by the European Parliament and the German Presidency of the Council.

The future EU4Health Programme should prioritise the following areas for investment:

  • Prevention, namely with a view to cancer and chronic diseases, and overall health promotion, including improved access to healthcare;
  • Research targeting public health priorities, with the consultation of statutory health insurance institutions in the identification of research priorities;
  • Digital transformation of health systems, leading the shift from diagnosis and treatment to prevention and self-care.

ESIP has consistently advocated for a strong separate Health Programme and considers that the July Council’s agreement on budget cuts would not have allowed for sufficient ambition to tackle the long-term health challenges we are facing. We now encourage EU decision-makers to finalise the agreement and swiftly implement the EU4Health Programme.

“Health is wealth” and EU funds are a crucial complement to support resilient healthcare systems, steer recovery from the current pandemic and improve preparedness for future health threats.



 Photo: © European Union, 2020 Source: EC - Audiovisual Service