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EU Health Governance

A UACES Research Network (2021-2025)


The EUHealthGov network will bring together academics from a range of disciplines (political science, law, sociology, public health, medicine, political economy) and practitioners from a variety of professions (within the EU institutions, health advocacy groups, think-tanks), to explore the governance of health in the EU.

From 2020-2023, UACES Research Networks were supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

European Union health policy has never been so important 

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted both the value and the limits of a European Union health policy. While mechanisms for the collective purchase of vaccines, the sharing of epidemiological data and the dispatch of emergency medical equipment have proven beneficial, each has experienced obstacles – be these technical, political or legal – to their effective operation. Moreover, member states did not embark upon their COVID-response strategies from the same starting point. Health inequalities between and within EU countries persist, sometimes in spite of, sometimes exacerbated by, EU policies and actions. We can view the pandemic as a microcosm of EU health governance and an ongoing illustration of the tension between national responsibility for a sensitive pillar of public policy, and the added value (and perhaps inevitability) of collective action to protect and promote health. 


A network for asking the big questions... 

The EUHealthGov network supports investigation of the fundamental question: How should health be governed in the EU? 

Starting from this intentionally broad question, we explore the drivers, dynamics and objectives of health cooperation at the European level, and the implications of these for current debates about governance reform. What are the legal and political barriers to a European Health Union? Do framings of solidarity across different aspects of EU law and policy help or hinder developments at national and EU levels? What can be learned from other policy sectors and EU Studies more broadly?  

The aims of the network are to inform the growing public debate on the appropriate scope, structure and ambition of EU health governance, and to elevate this within the field of EU Studies. As such, the activities of EUHealthGov relate both to research and teaching, and build on the interests and collaborations fostered at recent UACES conferences in Bath (2018), Lisbon (2019) and (virtual) Belfast (2020).

Calling all interested parties – join us!  

EUHealthGov is an interdisciplinary network that seeks to draw insight from a variety of disciplines, professions, geographies and methodological approaches, and from scholars, practitioners and enthusiasts at all career levels. 

The network's activities include: 

  • A quarterly online seminar series (work-in-progress, ‘practitioner perspectives’, roundtable discussions, and ‘in conversation’ events) 
  • Representation at the annual UACES conference 
  • Sponsorship for network members to attend UACES and other conferences 
  • Regular posts on the Ideas on Europe blog 
  • A network conference and teaching workshop, envisaged for May 2022.  

Information about EUHealthGov events and publications will be published shortly, and the network website, mailing list etc. will be up and running by April 2021. To keep up to date, share ideas, work and interests, and 'join’ the network in the meantime, please follow @EUHealthGov on Twitter for updates.