European funding brief: EU Health Programme

Women in Academic Medicine Conference

EU Health Programme 2014-2020

This new programme - 'Third programme of EU action in the field of health for the period 2014-2020' – simplifies access to EU funds by creating a 'one stop shop' with a budget of €449.394 million.

The new programme will support member states' actions aimed at encouraging innovation in health care, increasing the sustainability of health care systems, improving citizens' health and protecting them against crossborder health threats.

The four key targets of the new health programme are:

  • Promotion of good health and prevention of diseases: eligible actions include the exchange of good practice for addressing risk factors, such as smoking, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy dietary habits and physical inactivity
  • Protection from cross-border health threats, which might be improved via an increase of the capacities for scientific expertise
  • Innovative and sustainable health systems: in this area, the new EU health programme could provide support of the voluntary cooperation between member states on health technology assessment (HTA, as part of the voluntary network on HTA established by Directive 2011/24/EU (cross-border health care)
  • Increased access to better and safer health care: eligible actions include support for member states and patient organisations to help patients affected by rare diseases and the reduction of practices that increase antimicrobial resistance

The EU will cover 60% of the costs for an action under the programme or up to 80% for a joint action under special criteria. Joint actions are activities carried out by one or more member states or by the EU and the competent authorities of other countries participating in the Health Programme together. They focus on the greatest cross-border public health needs.

The programme is open to non-EU countries, in particular to accession candidates, countries that are members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and of the European Economic Area (EEA), neighbouring countries and other countries that have a bilateral or multilateral agreement with the EU.

More specifically, the Programme is open to the following organisations:

  • Legally established organisations
  • Public authorities, public sector bodies (research and health institutions, universities and higher education establishments)
  • Non-governmental bodies
  • International organisations

The third EU Health Programme 2014-2020 was finally adopted by European Parliament on 26 February 2014 with the full text available.

The NFPs (National Focal Points) are the national experts for the EU Health Programme in member states and participating countries. NFP representatives are appointed by their national health ministries. The NH European Office is the UK's NFP for the Programme.

The EC (European Commission) has recently adopted the 2017 work programme and the list of topics available for funding available in 2017 are listed in the table below:


Supporting member states in mainstreaming health promotion and disease prevention in health and educational settings

Support to coordination and management and non-clinical activities of European Reference Networks (ERNs) through annual SGAs (Specific Grant Agreement) - only for those with an approved FPA (framework partnership agreements)

Networks (ERNs) through annual SGAs (Specific Grant Agreement) - only for those with an approved FPA (framework partnership agreements)

Joint Actions (mainly for national competent authorities) - member states can express their interest to join by 11 May

Joint Action on Health Inequalities

Joint Action - Innovative Partnership on Action against Cancer

Joint Action on Vaccination

Joint Action on preparedness and action at points of entry (air, maritime and ground crossing)

Joint Action supporting the eHealth Network

Joint Action on Health Information towards a sustainable EU health information system that supports country knowledge, health research and policy-making

Financial contribution to the functioning of nongovernmental bodies (operating grants)



Organised annually to recognise the vital role of European, national or subnational nongovernmental bodies

Procurement - new framework contracts or specific agreements for 2017 only (i.e. not included procurement based on an ongoing framework contract)

The EU dimension of alcohol related harm


The eligibility criteria for projects are:

  • Applicants must be legally established
  • Only applicants from 28 EU member states plus Norway and Iceland can apply as well as countries which have a bilateral agreement with the European Union (Serbia and Moldova)
  • A project proposal must be submitted by at least 3 different legal entities from 3 different eligible countries
  • The only eligible activities are those listed in the work plan 2017
  • The co-funding applies for a future project. Running projects cannot be supported
  • Applications must be submitted in writing via the Participant Portal



Download the full brief to find out more about 3rd EU Health Programme and read about upcoming and open calls for projects.

European funding brief - May 2017 (PDF)


Find out more

More detailed information about EU funding, including advice on how to apply, is available from the BMA's European Office: