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Multi-annual programme of action for health (2014-2020) (Proposal)

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Multi-annual programme of action for health (2014-2020) (Proposal)

The European Commission presents its third multi-annual programme of action for health, covering the period 2014-2020. The programme meets the need to support Member States in their efforts to improve citizens’ health and the sustainability of health care systems, forming part of the Europe 2020 strategy.


Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 November 2011 on establishing a Health for Growth Programme, the third multi-annual programme of EU action in the field of health for the period 2014-2020 [COM(2011) 709 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The Health for Growth Programme (2014-2020) is the third multi-annual programme of European Union (EU) action. It helps/supports Member States in order to:

  • undertake the necessary reforms to achieve innovative and sustainable health systems;
  • improve access to better and safer health care for citizens;
  • promote good health of European citizens and prevent diseases;
  • protect European citizens from cross-border threats.

Objective No 1: Contributing to innovative and sustainable health systems

The European Commission must help Member States to address shortages of human and financial resources. It must also promote the implementation of innovation in health care, for example e-Health, and the sharing of expertise in this field. The Programme also supports the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing.

Objective No 2: Increasing access to better and safer healthcare for citizens

The Commission suggests setting up the accreditation of European Reference Networks. This would allow, for example, action to be supported in the field of rare diseases. European guidelines should also be developed on patient safety and the use of antimicrobials.

Objective No 3: Promoting good health and preventing diseases

Member States are invited to exchange best practices on smoking prevention, abuse of alcohol and obesity. Specific action should also help to prevent chronic diseases, including cancer.

Objective No 4: Protecting citizens from cross border health threats

The Commission considers that the level of preparedness and response for serious cross border health threats must be improved.

Financial provisions

The financial allocation for the Programme is EUR 446 million for the period from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020. The following may participate in the Programme:

  • all EU Member States;
  • countries acceding to the EU, candidate countries and potential candidates benefiting from a pre-accession strategy;
  • European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries in accordance with the conditions established in the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement;
  • neighbouring countries and countries to which the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) applies in accordance with the conditions established in bilateral or multilateral agreements.

The EU may also make financial contributions in the form of grants or public procurement to fund actions having European added value, or grants for the functioning of non-governmental bodies. Such grants contribute 60 % of eligible costs and cover a wide spectrum of legally established organisations such as:

  • public authorities and public sector bodies;
  • research institutions;
  • health institutions;
  • universities;
  • higher education establishments;
  • undertakings.

In exceptional cases only, these grants may be up to 80 % of eligible costs.

Funding may also cover expenditure on preparatory, monitoring, control, audit and evaluation activities required for the implementation of the Programme.

Implementation of the Programme

Implementation of Programme actions shall be monitored by the Commission, in close collaboration with Member States. The Commission shall, furthermore, be assisted by a committee pursuant to the Regulation on the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers.

Member States shall designate National Focal Points in order to disseminate the Programme and its results in their countries.

This Regulation repeals the Decision on the Second programme of Community action in the field of health from 1 January 2014.



Official Journal


COM(2011) 709 final



See also

Last updated: 11.01.2012