Public Health

EU health policy

The EU has played a key role in developing health policy for over 25 years.

The Member States are largely responsible for determining their own health policies but the EU Commission plays a coordinating role through the EU health programme, which has three objectives:

  • fostering good health in an ageing Europe
  • protecting citizens from health threats
  • supporting dynamic health system and new technologies.

The health programme is run by the Directorate General for Health and Consumer Affairs (DG Sanco), which is based in Luxembourg and Brussels. Key areas of work include:

  • Health strategy
  • Ensuring health security
  • Improving health care
  • Risk assessment
  • Taking action against diseases
  • Health in society
  • Fostering good health (prevention)
  • Indicators and data
  • Pharmaceuticals and medical devices

For more on the work of DG Sanco in health see: Health

Key policy areas for liver disease include work on Alcohol, physical inactivity and obesity

Other areas of work are undertaken by the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) in Stockholm, which has responsibility for surveillance and monitoring of communicable diseases, and the European Medicines Agency, which authorizes and monitors the marketing of pharmaceuticals on the EU market.


Health funding in the public health programme

Project funding is allocated under the health strategy programme according to the strategic objectives. Details on projects funded from 2006-13 are here: Health projects

Future health funding 2014-2020

A new health strategy was agreed by the Member States and European Parliament and entered into force in 2014. Calls for project proposals are held every year and can be found here: