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Sitra chosen to co-ordinate Joint Action under the EU Health Programme

Joint Action under the European Commission’s third Health Programme will begin next year. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has appointed Sitra to act as the competent authority for the initiative in Finland and member states have today chosen Sitra to co-ordinate the Joint Action.


The EU Health Programme funds and supports co-operation between EU member states and promotes co-ordinated health promotion initiatives in Europe. Finland’s role in the Joint Action is to promote the uptake of EU-wide common practices, particularly in the field of the secondary use of health data. Finland has pioneered the development and implementation of a new legislative framework for the secondary use of data produced by the social welfare and healthcare sector.

The European Commission asked the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health to nominate Finland’s representative body for the Joint Action under the European Health Programme. Member states have today chosen Sitra to co-ordinate the Joint Action. Sitra has lengthy experience in promoting the secondary use of health data and has been actively involved in the preparation and national implementation of the Act on the Secondary Use of Health and Social Data. Sitra is also currently running an extensive project on the ethical use of personal data, the IHAN – Human-driven data economy focus area. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is confident that Sitra has the right skills and resources to co-ordinate the demanding European-wide Joint Action.

Joint Actions are implementation instruments for the EU Health Programme. The new Health Programme (2020) involves four Joint Actions. The working title of the Joint Action co-ordinated by Sitra is Joint Action addressing differences in national General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) implementation in the health sector, including the European Health Data Space and the health data use. The final title will be confirmed at the launch of the Joint Action.

Finland’s final decision to participate in the Joint Action and the related financial commitments will be taken together with the representative organisations named by the other member states. The decision will be taken on the basis of the application to be drawn up following joint negotiations prior to the closing date for the application submission. The joint application of EU member states participating in the Joint Action must be submitted to the European Commission in October 2020.

The Joint Action may also be joined by other Finnish organisations besides Sitra. Those wishing to participate in the Join Action may contribute by offering expertise within working groups or by participating in the work of the national expert body monitoring the Joint Action.

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