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Paper131: Christian Calliess - The Corona Crisis (Covid-19 Pandemic) and the European Union (EU) – Health Policy as a Topic for the Conference on the Future of Europe –


The article deals with the possibilities and limits of European action in the fight against pandemics on the basis of legal and economic criteria. The Corona crisis has shined the spotlight on EU’s seemingly fumbling response in dealing with the pandemic. If the EU appears to be not effective in this regard, it is because it only has coordination competence in the area of health policy and is dependent on the consensus and cooperation of all Member States in its measures (e.g. rules on vaccine procurement and vaccination passport). It is submitted that only a common European strategy can avoid border controls and introduction of measures effective in dealing with the pandemic. Further, it is shown that there is a discrepancy between the allocated European task versus the competence necessary to achieve it efficiently. This could be resolved by means of an addition to the competence, while taking into account the criteria of the subsidiarity principle. A proposal to enhance the EU competence by adding a subsection to Art. 168 (4) TFEU complete with wording is made.