Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the largest cause of death in the EU and account for around 2 million deaths per year. Overall, CVD are estimated to cause the economy of the EU costs of almost 196 billion Euros a year. Furthermore, they are one of the leading causes of long term sickness, chronic diseases and loss to the labour market. Therefore, CVD are a major health problem in Europe. Despite the overall burden of CVD on European citizens and national health systems, translational cardiovascular research is fragmented and mainly occurs at national levels. However, the present and future challenges in cardiovascular research can only be met by an effective cooperation at transnational level. Therefore, the proposed European Research Area Network on cardiovascular diseases (ERA-CVD) aims to coordinate national and regional programmes for translational research in the area CVD by implementing one Joint Transnational Call (JTC2016) with EU Co-funding followed by further non-co-funded JTC (2017-2019). Although this consortium is newly established, a collaboration and alignment of national programmes and activities has already been achieved during the preparation of the ERA-Net Co-fund proposal. This process is supported by CardioScape an EU-funded survey of the European cardiovascular research landscape coordinated by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The current ERA-CVD consortium will extend and strengthen the transnational cooperation of the current 23 ministries/funding agencies/foundations from 18 European, associated and third countries. Furthermore, ERA-CVD plans to cooperate with the ESC and the European Heart Network (EHN). Moreover, the collaboration with European Research Infrastructures, e.g. the ESFRI-initiatives is intended in order to set up an efficient European framework for innovative transnational research on CVD. Also the extension of the consortium and international collaborations as well as other related activities are intended.