How can digital health drive cohesion in Europe? – Unlocking EU Cohesion and Structural Funds to provide better healthcare

In partnership with Siemens Healthineers

COCIR has published the full report of the event, which includes the key take-aways and COCIR’s policy recommendations how to unlocking additional EU Cohesion and Structural Funds for the digitalisation of healthcare systems.

Download the full event report (January 2021) here.

The event programme can be found in the Related Files section below as well as on the European Week of Regions and Cities 2020 website.


The end of the year 2020 marks the transition from the current EU budget to the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), for the period 2021-2027. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges which have a multi-faceted impact on us all.

As highlighted by Bernt Bieber, President of COCIR, this event at the European Week of Regions and Cities 2020 provided a great opportunity to discuss how to leverage European funds over the next seven years to  strengthen the resilience and sustainability of healthcare systems across all regions in the European Union.

The event, hosted by COCIR in partnership with Siemens Healthineers, brought together several key representatives from EU Institutions and Member States, from regions and cities, as well as from patient organizations, healthcare professionals, innovators and industry. The discussions focused on funding in healthcare with an emphasis on digital health and integrated care, as well as training and education for healthcare professionals.
Each of the breakout session aimed at spark a lively discussion and exchange of views and ideas for:

  • Discussing the added value of replicating selected best practices in other EU regions.
  • Exploring the priority needs for funding in the areas of digital health, integrated care and training & education as well as what the focus of future activities should be.
  • Understanding what the current challenges are in leveraging EU funds for fostering health regional development.

Closing the event, Member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Regional Development, MEP Solìs Pérez highlighted that cohesion policy plays a significant role in ensuring the sustainability of healthcare systems, while improving access to treatment and medicines for all and tackling health inequalities in Europe. She also stressed that the digital revolution is currently helping to advance towards the next generation of healthcare treatments and services. In this sense, EU funds can make a decisive contribution that will benefit all of Europe in the coming decades.