Maastricht at 30: Exploring past, present, and future drivers of EU health integration

EUhealthgov |

On 20th and 21st April 2023, EUHealthGov headed to Brussels for a 2-day workshop discussing research and teaching connected with EU health policy and law. The overarching theme of “Maastricht at 30” provided a useful starting-point to consider both aspects, with the emergence of EU health law and policy as a discipline in its own right typically being traced across this period.

The workshop brought together a range of academics from across Europe, at different career stages, and across law, political science, social policy and public health. This latter diversity, in itself, highlighted important considerations for how and what we research and teach, which forms the basis for future discussions and collaborations.

The research workshop started with Óscar Fernández presenting “The European Union’s global health actorness: Outlining a post-COVID-19 research agenda”. This focus on the EU’s response to the pandemic and its position in global health was followed by Giulia Gallinella discussing early ideas on “The EU’s Role in the WHO during the COVID-19 pandemic: multilateral power politics?”. João Paulo Magalhães considered “Main non-communicable diseases as cross-border health threats: can a European Health Union live up to the treaty potential?”. This was followed by the EUHealthGov coordinators presenting current work forthcoming in a special issue of the Journal of Health Policy, Politics and Law on Political Determinants of Health and the EU. Charlotte Godziewski presented a paper on HERA’s role in increasing integration in health and the EU’s securitisation response to COVID-19. Mary Guy  presented work on solidarity in connection with EU competition policy, whilst Eleanor Brooks outlined a model for understanding regulatory chill, Better Regulation and EU health policy. 

The teaching workshop was opened by Tamara Hervey, setting the scene for a wide-ranging discussion of how, where, and to whom EU health may be taught, as well as the benefits of student involvement in curriculum design. Inesa Fausch drew on her experience of adopting transdisciplinary approaches in knowledge exchange. Rok Hržič provided insights from the long-established programmes at Maastricht University and experiences of working with problem-based learning in a global classroom. Volkan Yilmaz shared how he incorporated EU health themes into wider public policy and health policy modules, whilst Benjamin Ewert discussed the challenges of teaching EU health themes to students from both within and beyond the EU in an intensive course format. João Paulo Magalhães described his experience as a learner within the context of a public health programme, and Germán Andrés Alarcón Garavito presented the experience of the innovative collaborative Emerging Voices for Global Health Program. As a group, the absence of a comprehensive textbook on EU health governance was a key point of discussion. 

Following on from the teaching workshop, EUHealthGov is developing a shared teaching resource which will be posted on our website in due course. For updates on this, and future events of the network, follow us on Twitter, check out the website and/or join our mailing list.

We are very grateful to UACES for funding the network and enabling this in-person workshop, as well as to Mundo-B for providing us with a welcoming space, and to Les Petits Oignons for an excellent dinner!