Press Releases Council of the EU: EU4Health programme: Council agrees its negotiating position

Council of the EU: EU4Health programme: Council agrees its negotiating position

EU member states’ ambassadors today agreed unanimously on the mandate to start negotiations with the European Parliament on the EU4Health programme (2021-2027). This programme is a strong response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also maintains a focus on long-term EU actions in the health field. It aims to improve public health in the EU and make the Union better prepared to cope with future health crises. The programme is of crucial importance as the EU still experiences the impact of a major health threat on the economies of the member states and the well-being of citizens.

In accordance with the results of the European Council meeting of 17-21 July 2020, the budget proposed in the Council mandate of EUR 1.9 billion is four times the size of the budget of the current programme for 2014-2020.

The EU4Health programme aims to complement the national policies of the member states and to promote coordination between them in order to improve human health throughout the Union by:

  • protecting people in the Union from serious cross-border threats to health
  • improving availability of health products and crisis relevant products
  • strengthening the resilience and sustainability of health systems
  • increasing the use of digital tools and services in the health area
  • strengthening the role of the European Union in global health

The position of the Council provides for a strong governance mechanism to allow for an effective decision making. It also aims to address long-term traditional public health issues, such as the prevention and treatment of communicable and non-communicable diseases, notably cancer, to improve mental health and long-term care, and to reduce health inequalities.

Background and next steps

The European Commission presented its proposal for the EU4Health Programme (2021-2027) on 28 May 2020. It is part of the EU Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the period 2021-2027. At its meeting on 17-21 July 2020, the European Council invited the Council to take up negotiations with the European Parliament in order to finalise the work on all MFF files as a matter of exceptional urgency. The agreement reached by the Council today will serve as the basis for negotiations with the European Parliament.

Council position

Commission proposal

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