The EU has been actively engaged in different multilateral and international health institutions in all areas of its competence in health. Degrees of participation differ depending on status (participant or observer) in the organisation, political will and the existence of EU law in the area. The EU concentrates on the WHO; the FCTC, with its protocol; the Global Fund; and health in the UNGA, in the OECD and in the G7/G20. The EU is an important global health actor, although political will and financial input are not consistently and strategically brought together. Followup of the SDGs within the EU and the next financial perspectives for the EU (2021–7) will indicate where health and global health activities will be placed for the period until 2027.