Mixing EU Security and Public Health Expertise in the Health Threats Decision
in M. Weimer & A. de Ruijter (eds) Regulating Risks in the European Union (book - Hart Publishing), 2017
20 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2018
Date Written: October 1, 2017
In case of the spread of a highly contagious virus on a pandemic scale or when an emergency threatens the health and life of a population, the counter measures that are approved and coordinated by the executive in charge, build on the advice of epidemiological experts, who will inform the policy makers on the speed of the spread, the likelihood that vaccines will work, or on what other public health measures may need to be taken. The efforts of the EU have focused on e.g. planning, coordination of an emergency response, assessment, prevention and communication. However, due to a transforming understanding of the nature of the health risks that we are facing at EU level, a mixing has taken place of the opinions and relevance of the scientific input of public health experts that believe that health risks that are manageable and perceived as statistically foreseeable, together with security experts and economists that view public health risks as unforeseeable disasters or catastrophes that should be addressed, not only in terms of health and life of humans, but also in respect to ‘security’ of the economy and preparing its ‘critical infrastructures’. This chapter analyses the relationship between the changing nature of the expertise underlying and legitimising EU response to public health emergencies, and executive power.
Keywords: EU Public Health, EU Security, Securitisation, Expertise, EU Executive Power
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