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European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA)
News article27 December 2022European Health and Digital Executive Agency

EU4Health and Horizon 2020 projects preparing the Union for future health crises

epidemic preparedness day

Today, we mark International Epidemic Preparedness Day. Infectious diseases and epidemics have devastating impacts on human lives. The EU4Health programme addresses the resilience of European healthcare systems to be ready to react when facing public health crises.

HaDEA implements the EU4Health programme by managing projects and direct grants that are supporting epidemic preparedness.

  • The CT-CURE Joint Action provides harmonised assessments of multi-national clinical trials of COVID 19 therapeutics, using the Clinical Trial Information System (CTIS), in line with the Clinical Trials Regulation. This will make the European Union more efficient in running large, multinational trials, which are key to developing innovative medicines.
  • The Joint Action CHESSMEN focuses on the supply of medicines. It will strengthen the existing coordination of the European Union of Medical Specialists (EUMS) network, capitalising on existing knowledge, such as studies and good practices to ensure the availability and security of medicines.
  • The aim of the UNITED4Surveillance Joint Action is to strengthen the national integrated surveillance systems in the EU and EEA (European Economic Area). It gathers expertise in public health, animal, and environmental health, thereby creating a strong network of integrated surveillance for the prevention and control of infectious diseases.
  • The DURABLE project contributes to a coordinated, fast, reliable and effective emergency response. It will support the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) laboratory network by providing high-quality scientific information in record time in order to prepare and respond to cross-border health threats.

The European Commission has also been investing in research through the Horizon Europe programme and its predecessor, the Horizon 2020 programme. These programmes have been funding initiatives and projects that tackle the spread of coronavirus and increase preparedness for other outbreaks.

  • ORCHESTRA is working to establish an international large-scale cohort for the conduct of retrospective and prospective studies on the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. The project provides an innovative method to study the COVID-19 pandemic and deliver recommendations for future health crises.
  • RESPOND identifies which groups are most at risk of developing adverse mental health effects due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The project combines two programmes developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) into a strategy to help these groups and assesses its efficacy to improve health system preparedness in the event of a future pandemic.


EU4Health, with a budget of €5.3 billion, is the fourth and largest of the EU health programmes. The EU4Health programme goes beyond an ambitious response to the COVID-19 crisis to address the resilience of European healthcare systems. The programme provides funding to national authorities, health organisations and other bodies through grants and public procurement, contributing to a healthier Europe.

HaDEA manages the vast majority of the total EU4Health budget and implements the programme by managing calls for proposals and tenders from 2021 to 2027.

Joint Actions are a funding instrument defined under the EU’s health programmes to implement priority actions in the field of health. Joint Actions are coordinated jointly by Member States or their designated national health authorities and the European Commission.

Horizon Europe is the research and innovation programme of the EU for the period 2021-2027. The aims of Cluster 1 ‘Health include improving and protecting the health and wellbeing of citizens of all ages by generating new knowledge, developing innovative solutions and integrating a gender perspective to prevent, diagnose, monitor, treat and cure diseases.

Horizon 2020 (H2020) was the EU’s multiannual funding programme between 2014 and 2020.


Publication date
27 December 2022
European Health and Digital Executive Agency
Programme Sector
EU4HealthHorizon EuropeHorizon Europe Cluster 1: Health
EU financingEUFundedHealthUnionMedical researchPublic health