New executive agency launched to help Europe’s recovery from COVID-19

The European Health and Digital Executive Agency will oversee the €5.1bn EU4Health programme.
By Tammy Lovell
10:34 AM

(Photo by artjazz / Shutterstock)

A new executive agency for digital and health projects has been created to help Europe emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA), will be responsible for implementation of relevant European Union (EU) financial programmes including the EU4Health programme, the Digital Europe programme and parts of the research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe

In a video welcome message, HaDEA interim director, Matthew Hudson, said the agency will manage around €20 billion over the next seven years. 


The COVID-19 crisis has shown the importance of coordination among European countries to protect people’s health.

In November last year, the European Commission proposed a new health security framework as part of its plans to build a ‘European Health Union’. Based on lessons learnt from combatting the coronavirus, the framework will extend the role of EU agencies in the coordination of preparedness and response measures.

The HaDEA is intended to play a key role in helping Europe to emerge from challenges faced under the pandemic.


The HaDEA will implement the EU’s COVID-19 recovery response programme, EU4Health which entered into force on 26 March, making €5.1 billion available to strengthen the resilience of health systems and promote medical innovation and digital transformation.     

EU4Health is intended to fill any gaps revealed by the pandemic and ensure the EU is prepared if faced with new health threats.


In his welcome message, Hudson said: “The HaDEA is charged with the implementation of a number of the very important financial programmes adopted by the EU concerning health and notably the EU for Health programme, the Digital Europe programme and also important parts of the research and innovation programme Horizon Europe, dealing with health, industry, space and digital.

“The agency will be managing about €20 billion over the next seven years and working with beneficiaries and contractors to deliver projects which will help Europe emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis and go forward with confidence.

“HaDEA is part of the future and we’re determined to play a very constructive role and we look forward to a constructive cooperation with all of our interlockers and beneficiaries.”

HIMSS chief clinical officer, Dr Charles Alessi said: “HaDEA offers an enormous opportunity for Europe as it looks to emerging from the COVID-19 crisis. COVID exposed many frailties within systems within Europe, and initiatives like EU4Health, and the research focused Horizon Europe which HaDEA will implement, will strengthen systems for surveillance and preparedness for any future pandemics, as well as assist Europe on its journey towards digital transformation.  

“As we move to a more digitally enabled and mature Europe, we also look at HIMSS playing an increasing role in assisting Europe and its citizens on their journey, as they look to improved outcomes as a direct result of this digital transformation.”

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