Health: a vital issue for Europe

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Series Details No 68, March 2009
Publication Date 04/03/2009
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Health is one of European citizens’ foremost concerns. Although this is still not widely known, the EU intervenes in many different ways in the field of health, whether it is fighting communicable diseases, guaranteeing drug and food safety, limiting the harmful effects of unhealthy lifestyles, or even building a community healthcare space. At a time when EU intervention in this area is expanding, we may well question about the latter’s forms and motivations. In fact, Community action in the health sphere is only marginally related to the desire of building a Europe of Health; it is above all a secondary effect of the process of European integration. Taking full advantage of the Community’s added value means breaking free of this logic by acknowledging the role of the EU in this sector and streamlining its efforts. At a time when European integration is more than ever in pursuit of meaning and legitimacy, the EU could, in such a way, draw decisively closer to its citizens.

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