This health programme is picking up steam.

RB – 01/2021

An Agreement on the 2021-2027 multi-annual financial framework, including the "Next Generation EU" reconstruction plan was reached in December 2020. A budget of 5.1 billion euros for the "EU4Health" health programme, which is tied to the reconstruction plan, was also approved.

What are the focal points that we can expect?

The proposal for an action plan from the EU in the healthcare (i.e. EU4Health) sector that was drafted in May 2020, was driven, in particular, by the findings available at the time and the challenges seen when dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. We last reported on it in the 06/2020 issue.


The EC started a dialogue with more than 900 participants in a virtual seminar on 22.01.2021. The four priorities of the work programme include:

  • prevention and health promotion
  • protection against cross-border health threats
  • access, availability and affordability of medicinal products
  • digital healthcare.

When will the work programme be released?

It remains exciting in terms of content. Measures are expected to support the European Cancer Plan, the vision of a Health Union to prepare and manage cross-border health crises, the vaccination campaign against COVID-19, implementing the action plan to prevent antimicrobial resistance, improved data exchanging, e.g. for research purposes, and international cooperation with third countries.


It has already been announced that 327 million euros will be allocated from the programme during the first year. A comparison: The health programme budget for the previous period spanning six years (2014-2020) totalled 450 million euros.


The first work programme with drafted measures is to be published in the second quarter of 2021.