There is no European Union health system but there is an EU health policy. The EU affects the health of its citizens, the health of people around the world, and the operation and finance of its Member States? healthcare systems in many ways, mostly for the better, and often in ways that are poorly understood.
This book, a completely revised second edition of our previous volume on the subject. maps out the nature of EU health policies, their logic and reason for being, and their potential to affect the health of Europeans for the better. It is written in the belief that understanding the breadth and diversity of EU health policies, and the distinctive institutional structure that explains them, will improve our collective abilities to make policy for health in any sphere, from food to healthcare services and from occupational safety to international trade.
Above all, we hope that this book makes it impossible to deny the scale and often indirect and positive impact of EU health policy. EU health policies extend far beyond the Public Health Article 168, from the environmental, social policy and consumer protection policies discussed alongside it in chapter 3, to the extensive internal market laws that have made so much beneficial EU regulatory policy, discussed in chapter 4, to the ambitious fiscal governance agenda discussed in chapter 5, which has increasingly developed a health focus. Across a broad sweep of policies from RescEU?s civil protection to the regulation of pharmacies, the EU is omnipresent in health and health policy. It should be understood as such. The question is not whether we want an EU health policy, for EU health policy is inevitable. It is how it should be made and for what ends.