The Effect of EU Membership on the Health Care Systems of Member Countries in Central and Eastern Europe

Dagmar Radin ; Mississippi State University, U.S.A.

Fulltext: pdf (252 KB), English, Pages 141 – 154

Health and health care provision are one of the most important topics in public
policy, and often a highly debated topic in the political arena. The importance
of considering European Union accession’s impact on the health care sector
of new member countries is highlighted by studies showing that accession
to the Union has significant impacts on the socio-economic indicators of the
new members, while the impacts on the health care system are less known.
This is particularly important for a Central and East European country such as
Croatia, where a policy responsive government indicates a high level of quality
of democracy (Roberts, 2009) and where issues in the health care system
have been carried over from the previous regime.
In this study, I summarize the current status of health care in the European
Union and the reasons behind the failure to create a stronger legislative framework
around health care issues and its consequences. I find that the absence
of more meaningful hard laws has stimulated the creation of alternative soft
law practices to harmonize health systems across the Union, with uncertainty
about its impact on health outcomes in new member countries, including

Health Care; Soft Law; European Union; Croatia; Hard Law