In the coming weeks, the European
Commission will launch the first
call for new members to join existing European Reference Networks (ERNs).
On 26 July 2019, the Commission adopted the Implementing
Decision (EU) 2019/1269 amending Implementing Decision 2014/287/EU setting
out criteria for establishing and evaluating European Reference Networks and
their Members and for facilitating the exchange of information and expertise on
establishing and evaluating such Networks.
The Commission’s amendment seeks to clarify
the role of the Board of the Network with respect to the governance of ERNs and
to change the procedure for applying for membership of existing ERNs. It also
includes provisions on the establishment of a Clinical Patient Management
System (CPMS) and the protection of data processed in the CPMS.
Following entry into force of the amended Implementing
Decision on 18 August 2019, the European Commission will invite new members to
join the existing 24 ERNs for the first time. The exact dates for the opening
and closing of the call for membership will be announced shortly.
ERNs are virtual networks in which
healthcare providers from across Europe work together on complex and rare
diseases requiring highly specialised treatment and a high-level concentration
of expertise and resources (see article Feb
2019). There are currently 24 ERNs, involving more than 900 highly
specialised health teams in more than 300 hospitals in 26 European countries.