The Construction of Healthier Europe: Lessons from the Fight Against Cancer
Louise G. Trubek
University of Wisconsin Law School
North Carolina State University
Tamara K. Hervey
University of Sheffield - Faculty of Law
July 22, 2008
Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1062
Wisconsin International Law Journal, 2008
The increasing involvement of European-level institutions in public health is often told as a story of bureaucratic, neo-liberal expansion. According to this history, the European Commission, backed by a like-minded European Court of Justice, has sought to expand its powers against the wishes of the Member States and their citizens, who see European Union involvement as a threat to the "European Social Model." Drawing on a case study of the EU's involvement in fighting cancer through the "Europe Against Cancer" programme, we offer an alternative explanatory account for the emergence of EU health policy. We show how networks of experts and activists have driven the EU's involvement. We also show how the EU's activities have not been solely in the form of top-down directives, but rather in the form of networked governance based on knowledge creation and policy learning. This approach requires minimal EU involvement or funding to achieve significant advances in cooperative health system reform based heavily on policy entrepreneurs. We draw lessons from the history of Europe Against Cancer for the future development of EU health policy.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 39
Keywords: health, European Union
JEL Classification: I18
Date posted: July 22, 2008
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