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Social Rights in Europe$
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Gráinne de Búrca, Bruno de Witte, and Larissa Ogertschnig

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199287994

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199287994.001.0001

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We Don't See a Connection: The ‘Right to Health’ in the EU Charter and European Social Charter

We Don't See a Connection: The ‘Right to Health’ in the EU Charter and European Social Charter

Chapter:
(p.305) 15 We Don't See a Connection: The ‘Right to Health’ in the EU Charter and European Social Charter
Source:
Social Rights in Europe
Author(s):

Tamara K. Hervey

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199287994.003.0015

This chapter identifies the strongest disjuncture, arguing that although the European Union (EU) in many ways is involved in exercising health policy powers, it does not acknowledge a ‘right to health’ in this context, even though the European Committee of Social Rights has begun to shape such a right under Article 11 of the revised Charter. This chapter considers the expressions of the internationally recognized ‘right to health’ in the EU's acquis and the ‘jurisprudence’ and ‘soft law’ of the European Social Charter. The chapter suggests that the absence of a language of rights in the EU context is explicable in part by reference to the assumption that the ‘right to health’ is protected at national level and secondly by reference to competence concerns: that it is neither the EU's role nor within its power to promote or to require states to promote the right to health.

Keywords:   European Union, European Committee of Social Rights, Charter, soft law, right to health

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