Following the adoption of the Multiannual Financial Framework for the period 2021-2027 on 2 May, the European Commission has been unveiling its legislative proposals for the next generation of spending programmes.
Health will have a strong dimension in the next EU budget, as health-related resources will fall under several priority areas, such as social protection, research and innovation, the digitalization of society, cohesion and global responsibility.
Health policies will get EU funding through various instruments:
- European Social Fund Plus (ESF+)
- European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
- Horizon Europe (the new EU framework programme for research and innovation)
- Digital Europe Programme
- InvestEU Fund
- Emergency Aid Rescue (rescEU)
More specifically, with an overall budget of EUR 101,2 billion, the new ESF+ will embed the next EU Health Programme with a proposed budget of EUR 413 billion.
The health strand of the ESF+ will be under direct management and will focus on health promotion and disease prevention, contribute to the effectiveness, accessibility and resilience of health systems, make healthcare safer, reduce health inequalities, protect citizens from cross-border health threats, and support EU health legislation as well as integrated work (e.g. European Reference Networks, Health Technology Assessment and implementation of best practices to support structural innovation in public health).
Integrating health in the ESF+ will lead to new and stronger synergies with the other building blocks of the European Pillar of Social Rights. It will also support the integration of health in other related policies and the coordination between complementary health-related lines, thus boosting the impact of the future EU budget on health policies.