Crossing borders: A critical review of the role of the European Court of Justice in EU health policy

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Abstract

Over the last two decades, the European Union (EU) has steadily increased its involvement in the health policies of its member states, with considerable support from the European Court of Justice (ECJ). However, much of the literature examining the Court's role has focused upon the intersection between internal market law and the health services sector; the majority of studies have failed to examine the potential role for the Court in public health policy. Observers such as Greer have seen the development of healthcare as a clear case of neofunctional spillover, a view supported but qualified by Wasserfallen and others, who present a more detailed account of the mechanics of the process. Alternative analyses have focused upon the new modes of governance, soft law and other factors – this article reviews the current state of research in the field and the extent to which it should concern health policy actors and non-specialists in EU policy alike. It concludes that the Court has played and continues to play a crucial role in the development of EU public health policy, as well as in health services and broader social policy, where its influence has already been well documented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-37
Number of pages4
JournalHealth Policy
Volume105
Early online date2 Jan 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

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