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Public health

What the Commission is doing

The European Commission and EU countries are working together to build a strong European Health Union, which protects the health of Europeans, improves the resilience of Europe’s health systems and ensures that the EU and its Member States are prepared to address shared challenges. The EU is active in many different areas, such as improving vaccine confidence, ensuring all citizens have access to the medicines and medical devices they need at an affordable price, reducing the burden of cancer, and other leading non-communicable diseases, and reaping the benefits of digitalisation for healthcare and services.


There are also initiatives to reduce the use of antibiotics, improve the health technology assessment framework as well as crisis response and preparedness, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control assesses emerging threats so that the EU and national health authorities can respond rapidly.

To protect citizens and ensure they get the best treatment, all medicines in the EU must be approved at national or EU level, through the European Medicines Agency, before going on the market.

The European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) develops, produces and procures medical countermeasures before and during a health crisis.

See what other EU institutions are doing on public health

Key initiatives


Vaccination is the main tool for primary prevention of disease and one of the most cost-effective public health measures available.


Cancer is one of the main priorities of the European Commission in the health domain.

Medical devices

Medical devices and In Vitro Diagnostic medical devices (IVDs) have a fundamental role in saving lives.

EU4Health programme

The EU4Health programme will help build stronger, more resilient and more accessible health systems.

Pharmaceutical strategy

To create a future proof regulatory framework and support industry in promoting research and technologies.