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EU Health Law & PolicyThe Expansion of EU Power in Public Health and Health Care$
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Anniek de Ruijter

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198788096

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198788096.001.0001

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EU Public Health: Countermeasures to Swine Flu

EU Public Health: Countermeasures to Swine Flu

Chapter:
(p.121) 5 EU Public Health: Countermeasures to Swine Flu
Source:
EU Health Law & Policy
Author(s):

Anniek de Ruijter

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198788096.003.0005

This chapter is a case study on the EU’s response to a public health emergency in the form of countermeasures. More specifically, the scope of the case study is the involvement of the EU in the response to the outbreak of swine flu (influenza A H1N1) in 2009–10. The case study explores and maps legally the manner by which health policymaking can become strengthened through intertwining with more formal rules and the impact this may have for EU fundamental rights and values. It illustrates the growth and impact of EU health policy beyond legislative powers, where Member State engagement in EU health policymaking may have an impact beyond what is envisioned in law. The chapter first addresses how measures to counter a public health emergency can be taken at EU level, particularly focusing on the institutional actors. Second, the chapter identifies the countermeasures taken at EU level to combat the swine flu pandemic. Third, the chapter looks at the ways informal health policy (deliberately) intertwines with more formal regulation. Lastly, the impact of EU health law and policy in this particular case is analysed in terms of fundamental rights and values. The case study shows that the precarious balancing between public health and individual rights is not done by Member States alone.

Keywords:   EU public health, EU swine flu, swine flu outbreak, EU countermeasures, health emergencies, pandemic flu

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