MEPs & Stakeholders join forces to call for European leadership in health research and for coordination of health research efforts across Europe

09 07 2020

Dear President von der Leyen,
Dear Commissioner Gabriel,
Dear Commissioner Kyriakides,

We would like to share with you an open letter signed by 48 Members of the European Parliament and by health organisations. The open letter, attached to this email, calls for strong European leadership in health research and for better coordination of health research efforts across Europe.
We commend the European Commission’s efforts to launch a new stand-alone Health Programme and Horizon Europe mission to fund vital research in health. However, we believe that the missing link in the European Commission’s proposal is a much-needed visionary leadership for health and health research in Europe. The European Commission is redrafting parts of Horizon Europe to reflect ‘lessons learned’ during pandemic. This could be a timely opportunity to include a credible body responsible for designing and implementing a roadmap for health research and for linking newly acquired knowledge to a pan-European health policy. The COVID-19 crisis demonstrated that silos in health research must be addressed and a coordinated response to health challenges requires prior planning and a long-term commitment.
We need smart funding guided by a European vision and a strategic health research agenda and this can be implemented by a body, in the form of a European Health Research Council. We therefore sincerely hope that the Commission considers the launch of a “European Health Research Council”, to be able to capitalise on Europe’s excellent research and to be better prepared for health threats now and in the future.

Yours sincerely,
Petra De Sutter,
on behalf of all co-signatories

[Full letter in PDF]