For a Strong and Stable EU4Health Programme: The EU4Health Civil Society Alliance’s Statement

The EU4Health Civil Society Alliance reiterates its concerns over the midterm review of the EU Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) which saw the EU4Health Programme affected by a one billion cut of its total budget. The EU4Health programme, with an increased budget and specific objectives such as access to medical products and devices, stockpiling of essential products in the event of a crisis, establishing a reserve of healthcare workers, improving disease prevention and digitalising healthcare, aims to support the strengthening of healthcare systems to prepare for future health threats. It provided a much-needed answer to calls to “build back better” and increase Europe’s health resilience. Four years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, while some progress has been made, the Programme has not yet delivered on these objectives and budget cuts further threaten its ability to do so. It is time to recall the COVID lessons learned and implement clear commitments to address them.

To address these concerns and ensure a fit-for-purpose EU4Health Programme, we call on the EU institutions to:

  • Learn from the COVID-19 lessons and keep health as a key EU priority for the next multiannual financial framework (2028-2035).
  • Engage as soon as possible in a meaningful dialogue with civil society organisations on the implications of the EU4Health budget cuts for 2025-2027.
  • Consider civil society organisations as strategic partners in the operation of the EU4Health programme.
  • Stay true to the EU4Health Programme’s objective to support meaningful engagement of civil society organisations and provide them with the sustainable funding they need to fulfil their public health mission.