University of Twente Student Theses


Power puzzle - the European Court of Justice as super-agent in healthcare policy

Kraft, Christine (2012) Power puzzle - the European Court of Justice as super-agent in healthcare policy.

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Abstract:The free movement principle is one of the cornerstones of the European Union. It therefore also applies to the mobility of patients and medical services. Every EU citizen is allowed to seek medical treatment in another Member State while its health insurance is obliged to reimburse the costs. The existing rules on cross-border healthcare in the EU have a long history of the ECJ pushing healthcare integration forward versus Member State opposition. Next to analyzing the general role of the ECJ in the EU, this research examines the Court’s role in healthcare policy. Furthermore, it analyzes the role of the Member States in healthcare in order to determine the relationship between the ECJ and national governments. Intergovernmentalism, Neofunctionalism and the Principal-Agent framework is being used to explain how the ECJ was able to boost healthcare integration despite Member State opposition. The key in answering this puzzle lies in the relationship between Principal and Agent. Although the Member States had a serious chance in resuming their authority, they were not able to achieve this and remained an ordinary Principal. Having received delegated authority by the Member States but without a serious questioning of their powers, the ECJ was enabled to stimulate spillovers by pushing economic integration forward and applied internal market principles into healthcare. Slowly, the Court evolved into an extraordinary Agent, a Trustee.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:European Studies BSc (56627)
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