The Commission welcomes the provisional political agreement on the new ambitious EU4Health programme reached by the European Parliament and Council. EU4Health will make a significant contribution to the post-COVID-19 recovery by making the EU population healthier, strengthening the resilience of health systems, and promoting innovation in the health sector. It will also help fill the gaps revealed by the COVID-19 crisis and ensure that EU health systems are stronger if faced with new health threats, as part of a future robust European Health Union.
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 coordination and definitely more EU overall in health.”
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.”
EU4Health is the fourth and largest of the EU Health Programmes since their inception in 2003, with a dedicated budget of €5.1 billion allocated to it under the agreement by the European Parliament and Council on the next multiannual financial framework.
EU4Health aims to:
- Make health systems more resilient to deal with cross-border health threats like COVID-19 and improve crisis management capacity;
- Make the European Health Union a reality by investing in cancer care, better pandemic preparedness, availability of medicines and innovation; and
- Boost digital health and disease prevention.
In the first years of the programme, there will be a clear focus on recovery and resilience, in particular pandemic preparedness and response.
Additionally, the Commission’s work on urgent health priorities will be boosted and expanded, such as successful initiatives like the European Reference Networks for rare diseases, the fight against cancer, reducing the number of antimicrobial-resistant infections and pursuing international cooperation on global health threats and challenges.
The European Parliament and the Council will now formally approve the legal texts. Once the multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027 and the Next GenerationEU legislation have also been adopted, and the preparatory work accomplished, the Commission will put forward a detailed work programme for 2021.
Once adopted, the EU’s long-term budget, coupled with the NextGenerationEU initiative, which is a temporary instrument designed to drive the recovery of Europe, will be the largest stimulus package ever financed through the EU budget. A total of €1.8 trillion (in 2018 prices) will help rebuild a post-COVID-19 Europe. It will be a greener, more digital and more resilient Europe.
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