Affiliated Partners to ERNs are expected to establish a link to the Networks for those countries which do not have a member in a specific ERN thus addressing the concerns related to the geographic coverage of the Networks.
Affiliated Partners will contribute to the Networks’ activities and benefit from their expertise, facilitating the sharing of knowledge across the EU. Most importantly, Affiliated Partners should act as entry points to ERNs for patients, improving the accessibility for patients across the EU. For that reason, the Affiliated Partners shall participate in the CPMS virtual consultation panels for those patients that they have referred to the Networks and may also attend some other virtual panels for their own learning purposes or to fill any knowledge gap, due to their specific expertise.
In some cases, Affiliated Partners, if they develop the required expertise, may, at a later stage, become ERN members. This would only happen through a devoted procedure in compliance with the procedures for membership applicable to any healthcare provider and not automatically.