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1+ Million Genomes Initiative: Ireland and France join the EU initiative on genetic data-sharing for research

Ireland and France have joined the European initiative on linking genomic databases, which was launched in 2018 to enable health data-sharing across borders as a way to improve the understanding, prevention and treatment of disease. Genomic databases contain collections of DNA data, which scientists and doctors can use to advance research in precision medicine, as well as disease detection and prevention.

Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager, said:

Enlarging the database of valuable information in genetics is key for improving healthcare and the wellbeing of everyone in the EU. And with every new signatory of the 1+ Million Genomes initiative, the EU amplifies our position in health research.

Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said:

Strengthened cooperation and better access to health data will help bring Europe to the forefront of personalised medicine. Linking genomic health data in the EU will also foster scientific research, leading to improved personalised medicine and more innovative treatments.

The genomics initiative has so far been signed by 24 EU Member States, Norway, as well as the United Kingdom. The next steps in implementing the initiative will focus on establishing a European genomic data infrastructure, 50% of which was co-financed by the European Commission under the Digital Europe Programme. The signatories continue to work on the technical requirements for the common EU infrastructure and ensuring highly secure-data sharing for research across Europe. The initiative is aligned with the goals of the European health data space for the safe and secure sharing of health data across borders.

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