The provisional political agreement reached by the European Parliament and Council for the new EU4Health programme has been welcomed by the European Commission.
The EU4Health programme aims to facilitate a strong post-COVID-19 recovery by strengthening the resilience of health systems and promoting innovation in the health sector, and, as part of the new European Health Union, aims to ensure European health systems can cope with any potential health threats that may come in the future.
Vice-President for Promoting the European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, said: “The provisional agreement is yet another proof that the European Health Union is becoming a tangible reality. It is our dedicated answer to Europeans who want Europe central, and not an accessory to health policies. We are taking concrete action for more cooperation, more co-ordination and definitely more EU overall in health.”
Improving European health systems
The programme has a dedicated budget of €5.1bn which has been allocated under the multiannual financial framework agreement by the European Parliament and Council. As well as improving health systems, the programme will focus on investment into cancer care, availability of medicines, pandemic preparedness, healthcare innovation, disease prevention, and the incorporation of digital health.
Additionally, further focus will be put on reducing the number of antimicrobial-resistant infections and pursuing international co-operation on global health threats and challenges.
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “I warmly welcome the swift provisional agreement of the European Parliament and the Council on the most ambitious funding programme for health ever. With €5.1 billion, EU4Health will help strengthen our crisis preparedness and management of cross-border health threats as well as reinforcing the EU’s healthcare systems overall. EU4Health opens up a new chapter for EU health policy, and sends a clear signal to people in Europe that public health is our priority and that we have listened to their concerns.”