Strengthened International HeAlth Regulations and Preparedness in the EU Joint Action

The Joint Action will strengthen Member and Partner States and the European Unions common ability to prevent, detect and respond to biological outbreaks, chemical contamination and environmental and unknown threats to human health. This involves strengthening the implementation of decision 1082/2013/EU European Union (European Union) on serious cross-border threats to health and support the EU level preparedness and response to health threats and the implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005). The Joint Action has started in 2019 and will run for three years until 31 March 2022.


The partnership consists of 26 Associated Partners and 33 Affiliated Entities. The Netherlands is one of the 30 countries (24 EU European Union (European Union) members, 3 EEA/EFTA members and 3 European neighbourhood countries) that participates in the Joint Action. The SHARP JA will liaise with and collaborate with the ECDC, the WHO EURO regional office and the WHO Health Emergency and International Health Regulations (IHR) unit in Lyon, and IANPHI in relevant activities.

Project aims

The aims of SHARP are threefold: to strengthen prevention, detection and response to biological outbreaks, chemical contamination and environmental and unknown threats to human health. Special emphasis is placed on countries that have the biggest gaps in the capacity required for full IHR capability.

RIVM role

RIVM and Erasmus Medical Center (Erasmus MC) jointly coordinate work package 6 on preparedness and response planning, Erasmus MC is co-leader of a task in work package 7 on laboratory preparedness and responsiveness, and RIVM is co-leader of two tasks in work package 9 on chemical safety and chemical threats. RIVM is co-leader of work package 4 on integration in national policy and sustainability and in that work package also the leader of a task relating to the selection of best practices.  The Netherlands contributes to all other work packages as a participant.

RIVM colleagues involved are Aura Timen, Evelien Belfroid, Corien Swaan and Bettie Voordouw.


SHARP JA is co-funded by the Third EU Health Programme with an EU co-funding of EUR 7,9 million. Grant Agreement No 848096.