The Politics of European Union Health Policies

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June 1, 2009


Hardback, 208 pages

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0335236235 / 9780335236237


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Main description

"Scott Greer has done a remarkable job in explaining how the Europeanization of health policy takes place, how institutional legacies exert an influence in lobbying, how harmonization exacerbates path-dependent welfare structures that in turn impede a 'race to the bottom', and why the idea of a European social model creates positive external effects, even if it is a only an ad hoc policy construction."
Journal of European Social Policy 2010 20 (2)

"Provides an original and thought-provoking perspective and approach, combining in-depth theoretical discussions and well-researched case studies over 11 chapters...The book is well written and insightful, and the main argument is that EU law and policy developments - directly and indirectly - have the potential of undermining domestic health systems and the political actors within them." Journal of Common Market Studies, 2010 Volume 48. Number 3

"This book provides a unique insight into what is going on, unnoticed by most, 'below the surface' in EU health policy. It serves as a wake-up call for those who continue to believe that the EU is of marginal interest and relevance in national level debates about the direction of health care. In addition, in an engaging and lively style, it provides essential guidance for students of health policy who seek to understand the labyrinthine processes and the wide ranging unintended consequences - for good and for bad - of EU policy making."
Professor Naomi Chambers, Head of Health Policy and Management, Manchester Business School

“In this insightful book, Scott Greer describes how European health policy has long been developed in a secret garden, where a small number of people find pragmatic solutions to immediate problems while avoiding the fundamental questions … Yet the logic of European integration is tearing down the garden's walls, creating a public park where pragmatism takes second place to principles. Something must be done, but it is not clear what. Greer's book will be essential reading … for anyone who is responsible for organising how health care is delivered in Europe.”
Martin McKee CBE, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

This important new book explains how European Union (EU) developed policies shape and constrain health services. It answers the key questions asked of EU health policy: What is it? Why did it happen? What does it take to influence it and how can it be changed?

Using extensive new data, Greer discusses how EU policy is influenced by lobbies in Brussels and by four big member states: France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Shaping EU health policy takes information, coordination, nimbleness and focus. The book examines the ways that the successful health lobbies and member states work, identifies weaknesses, and emphasizes the challenge to health policymakers: if they do not influence EU health policies, they will lose influence over their own health systems.

The Politics of European Union Health Policies will be of great interest to students and academics of EU policy and politics, as well as health policy makers.

Table of contents

Chapter One: Health policy in the European Union: From Secret Garden to Public Park

Chapter Two: EU Health Policymaking

Chapter Three: European Union Health Policies: The Key Issues Facing States

Chapter Four: Doing something about it

Chapter Five: Lobbies

Chapter Six: Member States

Chapter Seven: France

Chapter Eight: Germany

Chapter Nine: The United KingdomChapter Ten: Spain

Chapter Eleven: Conclusion

Author comments

Scott L. Greer is Assistant Professor of Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Senior Research Fellow at LSE Health, London School of Economics, UK.


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