EuroHealthNet, the not-for-profit European partnership of public health bodies, has published a comprehensive overview of funds and programmes in the new EU budget and their relevance for health. The publication “Seizing the opportunities for a healthy recovery – Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 and NextGenerationEU’ not only covers health funding, but also social, environmental, economic recovery, and other mechanisms. The analysis explains how different areas of the budget can be used to improve health, tackle health inequalities, and build resilience to future health crises while enabling a sustainable recovery.
The briefing has been developed for public health authorities and others with an interest in health to enable them to use opportunities to address the underlying causes of ill-health and inequalities in a timely and sustainable way. For managing authorities within and beyond the health sector, it suggests how funding can be effective in reaching multiple common goals, such as creating a green and digital Europe, and an economy of wellbeing that works for all. Joint approaches and working across sectors can ensure funded measures have the greatest positive impact on those who need it most.
“The way the EU’s budget is spent will influence Europe’s ability to face future health threats and emergencies. We must prepare now by not only addressing the bio-medical health needs, but also the psycho-social and environmental determinants of health, building resilience and enabling people to live in good health.” – Caroline Costongs, EuroHealthNet Director.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to a substantial revision of the initial proposal of the EU’s long-term budget, (the ‘Multi-Annual Financial Framework’ (MFF)) and the EU’s overall budget during 2020. This is reflected in the creation of the new and ambitious EU4Health Programme, for which the regulation was published last week. The health programme now has a budget well over 11 times larger than that of the previous EU Health Programme. In parallel to the MFF process, EU Institutions agreed to an additional emergency facility of guaranteed loans and grants, the ‘Next Generation EU’ (NGEU). Together, the MFF and the NGEU constitute the total EU Budget of over €1.8 Trillion, the largest financial stimulus package ever agreed in the EU.