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The EU's Second Programme of Community Action in the Field of Health 2008-2013

08 September 2009
by inadim -- last modified 08 September 2009

The European Union's Health Programme 2008-2013 is intended to complement, support and add value to the policies of the Member States and contribute to increased solidarity and prosperity in the European Union by protecting and promoting human health and safety and by improving public health. Under the new Programme, participation and consultation with stakeholders are promoted. The financial envelope for the programme is EUR: 321 500 000.


The Second Programme of Community Action in the Field of Health 2008-2013

Programme Objectives

To improve citizens' health security:

  • Developing EU and Member States' capacity to respond to health threats, for example with health emergency planning and preparedness measures;
  • Actions related to patient safety, injuries and accidents, risk assessment and community legislation on blood, tissues and cells.

To promote health, including the reduction of health inequalities:

  • Action on health determinants - such as nutrition, alcohol, tobacco and drug consumption, as well as social and environmental determinants;
  • Measures on the prevention of major diseases and reducing health inequalities across the EU;
  • Increasing healthy life years and promoting healthy ageing.

Health information and knowledge:

  • Action on health indicators and ways of disseminating information to citizens;
  • Focus on Community added-value action to exchange knowledge in areas such as gender issues, children's health or rare diseases.

Financing mechanisms

To ensure full participation in the Programme by organisations which promote a health agenda in line with the Programme objectives, a wider variety of financing mechanisms are offered. These include:

  • Cofinancing of projects intended to achieve a Programme objective;
  • Tendering actions to achieve a Programme objective;
  • Cofinancing of the operating costs of a non-governmental organisation or a specialised network;
  • Joint financing of a public body or non-governmental organisation by the Community and one or more Member States;
  • Joint actions with other Community programmes, which will generate coherence between this instrument and other Community programmes.

Who can participate?

Eligibility by country

In line with other Community Programmes, the Health Programme is intended to support the European Union’s internal policies. They are action programmes designed primarily as means of achieving objectives set by the EU and its Member States who set the budget of the Programmes in line with the Financial Framework.

The Health Programme is open to the participation of:

  • All 27 European Union Member States;
  • The EFTA and EEA in accordance with the conditions established in the EEA Agreement;
  • Accession and candidate countries, European Neighbourhood countries and western Balkan countries included in the stabilisation and association process, provided bilateral or multilateral agreements establishing the general principles for their participation in Community programmes have been signed with the authorities of each country concerned.

The Call for Proposals published with the Work Plan each year of the Programme will set out the conditions under which organisations from each of the participating countries can apply.

Relations with third countries that are not participating in the Programme, is encouraged, where this contributes to the aims of the Health Programme. Organisations and institutions belonging to third countries not participating in the Programme may be involved at these conditions:

  • They have to be invited by partners participating in the Programme when their contribution is proved to be valuable to achieve the result of an action;
  • They shall neither contribute financially to the project nor receive Community financing in any form.

Organisations participating in the Programme must have their registered legal seat in one of the countries taking part in the Programme.

Eligibility by organisation

The legal status of organisations which apply for funding under the Health Programme depends on the type of actions to be covered. Some actions are open to all organisations registered in one of the participating countries, some are open only to public or non-governmental bodies and for others, applicants must have member organisations in more than one participating country.

Details on eligibility for each action are published each year in the work plan and call for proposals.

All organisations wishing to participate in the Health Programme must comply with the Financial Regulation and its Implementing Rules.


A number of mechanisms are available to applicants wishing to take part in the Health Programme. The annual work plan published each year specifies in more detail the priorities for which financing will be given and the criteria for Community contributions.

Cofinancing of projects or other actions intended to achieve a Programme objective

The Commission encourages projects of Community interest which are consistent with the annual work plan of the health programme. The Commission can subsidise these measures: the financial contribution under this programme can, in principle, be up to 60% of the eligible costs for the projects considered. The recipient of the grant owns the results of the project but must allow the Commission to use them freely and as it thinks fit. Occasionally, the actions may be offered as part of a joint-action with one or more Member States. For project cofinancing a call for proposals is issued each year by the Public Health Executive Agency.

Cofinancing of the operating costs of a non-governmental organisation or a specialised network

The Commission may offer the core functioning costs to a European level non-government organisation or specialised network. The organisations must be independent of industry and conflicting interests and be present in at least half the Member States with a balanced geographical coverage. Community contributions may be up to 60%. For such actions a call for proposals is issued each year by the Public Health Executive Agency.

Call for tenders

The Commission invites bids for contracts for the purchase of services and supplies (specific studies, for example), as part of the Health Programme. The cost of these services and supplies is paid in full to the contractor selected, according to the terms of the contract and provided that the results are in line with the objectives set by the Commission. The Commission owns the results. Calls for tenders are issued throughout the year.

Call for proposals

Call for tenders

Call for expressions of interest

Source: European Commission

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