A new EU health initiative “EU Roadmap on NCDs”

Dec 18, 2021

EACH issued a letter to the European Commission on behalf of its members including FH Europe, the European Atherosclerosis Society, the World Heart Federation and the Global Heart Hub among them to welcome a new EU health initiative. “EU Roadmap on NCDs” – the initiative was launched by the Commission to help Member States (MS) reduce the burden of the Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) in Europe, focusing on 5 key areas: cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, mental health and neurological disorders, health determinants. All strands will include a health equity dimension, thus supporting the reduction of health inequalities.

While focusing on promotion and prevention, this initiative may also support better knowledge and data, screening and early detection, diagnosis and treatment management, and quality of life of patients.

Support will in all cases focus on implementation, helping EU countries to transfer best practices, develop guidelines, roll out innovative approaches, etc. Stakeholders will be supported in actions that can contribute to the same objectives.

It will be a major opportunity to generate more impact in promoting the paediatric FH screening across the EU, a strategic imperative which FH Europe has already successfully initiated with its partners and supporters including EACH, through the high-level Technical Meeting  under the auspices of the Slovenian Presidency of the EU Council on October 11th, 2021.

On 15 December 2021, the European Commission hosted a dedicated webinar to explain the initiative and to engage with the interested stakeholders. FH Europe was represented by Magdalena Daccord, FH Europe’s Chief Executive, who addressed specifically the topic of FH paediatric screening implementation.

In the coming months, priorities, actions and synergies with policy areas relevant to the reduction of NCDs burden will be discussed with EU countries in the Steering Group on Health Promotion, Disease Prevention and Management of Non-Communicable Diseases (SGPP).

The preparatory phase is planned until mid-2022 and stakeholders are expected to provide input through the NCD Network on the EU Health Policy Platform.


Member States involvement – through the members of the Steering Group on Health Promotion, Disease Prevention and Management of Non-Communicable Diseases (SGPP), each representing one of the MSs.

  • MS will be involved in the process through the SGPP, a group which provides advice and expertise to the Commission, and fosters exchanges of relevant experience, policies and practices between MS.
  • A subgroup to the SGPP will be established to support the governance of the EU NCDs initiative.
  • The subgroup will advise the Commission on the implementation of the Initiative, and help identify actions such as transfer of validated best or promising practices, revision of existing protocols, preparation of NCD national action plans, pilot testing of approaches, preparation of training materials, twinning and sharing actions, etc.

Stakeholder involvement – joining the NCDs Thematic Network at the Health Policy Platform

  • The Health Policy Platform will serve as the primary communication tool with stakeholders.
  • Stakeholders need to register with an EU Login account.
  • Once the registration has been completed, the user can join a Thematic Network.
  • Thematic Networks are temporary, set up for only one year.

Key Highlights

On the main priorities of the initiative:

  • Prevention and health promotion, including screening and early detection,
  • Knowledge and data
  • Diagnostics and treatment management,
  • Quality of life of patients

The content of the initiative will be organised in 2 pillars:

  • Identifying a list of ambitious action (best practices, best buys, research results, innovative ideas),
  • and identifying legal and financial tools (i.e. EU4Health 2022, Horizon Europe, etc.)

Stakeholders involved in the development of the EU NCDs initiative:

  • Member States (MS) will be involved in every step of the process and will have an important role in prioritising the actions for the initiative once put forward by the Commission,
  • Strong involvement of the stakeholder community, which will be co-shaping the initiative,
  • The Commission will be collaborating with the OECD, especially in terms of modelling and estimation of financial impact,
  • The Commission is increasingly aligned with the WHO regarding NCDs monitoring.

Next steps

  • Beginning of January, a template will be available to outline how stakeholders will be able to provide their input on the Health Policy Platform, which will serve as the primary communication tool,
  • End of January, a written update on the status of the process of the NCDs Initiative, outlining the content to be addressed by the Initiative, will be uploaded to the Health Policy Platform,
  • 3 February 2022, the second stakeholder webinar will take place (next ones following on 17 March, 27 April and 3 June 2022),
  • By mid-2022, a document will be finalised identifying the suggested areas of action for MS, based on recommendations from the Commission and stakeholder input. MS will then decide on their priorities.
  • At the beginning of the second semester of 2022, there will be a publication of the calls for the EU4Health Autumn Work Programme, with opportunities for stakeholders to enrol and implement ideas around the areas in focus.

The webinar recordings are expected to be made available soon.

FH Europe is registered as a charity; Charity number 1170731, registered in England and Wales.

FH Europe is registered as a charity; Charity number 1170731, registered in England and Wales.

FH Europe is supported by an educational grant from Amgen Limited, Sanofi, Regeneron, Akcea Therapeutics Inc. and Amryt
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