Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


There are 71 Reference Centers over 19 countries.

A complete list of Reference Centers can be found here.

5 years, 1 March 2017 – 1 March 2022

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A call for Reference Centers to join existing ERNs is not expected to be opened before the first quarter of 2019.

Joining an ERN is a several stage-process:

1. you have to be nationally endorsed for the specific expertise / main thematic group.
2. you have to check if you fulfil the network specific criteria (available upon request).

If you fulfil both requirements 1. and 2., the Board of Member States will finally decide about your application, also taking into account your specific added value to the existing network and taking into account the advice of the network coordinator.

Please also liaise with the National Coordinator(s) of your specific country to advise you in this process.

For more information and the network criteria email

A call for new ERNs should be launched in the incoming years, but it is not expected before 2019.

The procedure to become a patient representative can be found here.

There are no specific criteria of affiliation to an ERN. It is a competence of Member States to designate their potential affiliated partners.

According to the Board of Member States: ERN applicants will be encouraged to liaise with National authorities, where appropriate, to identify a list of potential affiliated partners, for collaboration with the network from the outset. How-ever, for all potential affiliated partners (those identified before the ERN approval or those that will come up after the ERN approval) the affiliation process will take place only after the approval of the ERN by the Board and following the formal designation of each of the affiliated partners by its national authorities.

Find the complete text here.

Click here for more information from the European Commission.

For more information concerning ERNs in general, the application process, and procedures click here.