European day for organ, tissue and cell donation






Share more than a story. Share life.

Demand for organ transplantation is increasing all over the world, but there are not enough organs available to meet the need. This shortage of organs is now the limiting factor in treating many patients with chronic organ failure and has led to high numbers of patients on waiting lists.

On average in 2021, 36 000 patients receive a transplant and 41 000 new patients are registered on waiting lists in the member states of the Council of Europe. That’s nearly five new patients added to a transplant waiting list every hour.

Thousands of patients on waiting lists. A chronic shortage of organs, tissues and cells. The result: in 2021, an average of 20 patients died every day while waiting for an organ transplant in Europe.


Download our infographic

Why a European Donation Day (EDD)?

Sponsored by the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and HealthCare (EDQM) of the Council of Europe in a different country every year since 1996, the European Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation (EDD) aims to raise public awareness of the need for organ, tissue and cell donation and promote the principle of voluntary and non-remunerated donation.

Organ, tissue and cell transplantation is one of the great medical success stories of modern times, offering major therapeutic benefits and improvements to quality of life. It is also, in many cases, the only treatment capable of restoring essential functions, such as sight, or of saving patients suffering from end-stage organ failure. Demand for transplantable organs, tissues and cells still far exceeds supply, however, with important consequences for health. The key figures from Newsletter Transplant, the annual worldwide survey on transplantation, make clear just how the dire the situation is for thousands of patients who suffer in silence.

The 2023 Edition of the EDD is hosted by Spain on 7 October 2023. 


Every single person has a role to play in helping others.

Our social media campaign 2022

Discover what #YourPresentTheirFuture really means, through the stories of Anna, George, Daniel and Julia:

Say yes to organ, tissue and cell donation!

The European Donation Day (EDD) aims to stimulate dialogue and encourage European citizens to say yes to organ, tissue and cell donation.




If you would like to save or improve the lives of many others even after your demise, speak to your relatives and friends about your personal choice concerning organ donation. You may also encourage them to say yes to organ donation!



Spread the message in favour of organ, tissue and cell donation!

Share and support EDD on social media: #YourPresentTheirFuture


Donate during your lifetime as well!

Consider helping others during your lifetime by registering to donate your stem cells, found in your bone marrow, or peripheral blood, which can be used for the treatment of blood disorders and immune diseases.

When a baby is born, you can donate the umbilical cord blood, which is also rich in stem cells, and/or the placenta.

You may also consider helping others to fulfil their dream of becoming parents by donating oocytes (women) or sperm (men).


Say yes to organ, tissue and cell donation!

Find out all about donation and transplantation in your country and talk about your choice with your family, friends and colleagues! Let's Talk about it!

Useful freely available guidance and information for health professionals


Carefully prepared by the European Committee on Organ Transplantation (CD-P-TO), these booklets are aimed at helping families, donors and parents, and provide independent and scientifically grounded information.

NEW BOOKLET “Fertility preservation, a guide for people facing an illness or life events that may affect their fertility” 

This booklet is also available in French.

Donation of oocytes, a guide for women to support informed decisions

This booklet is also available in French.

Exercise your way to better post-transplant health” 

This booklet is also available in French.

Umbilical cord blood banking” 

This booklet is also available in French.