Focus: Brussels: Meddling or Benefiting: health in Europe?

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 01 January 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:7
  1. R Watson

    Not so long ago discussion of health issues within the European Union was taboo: national governments insisted that the politically charged subject of health was their responsibility, not that of some supranational organisation. Yet the taboo is gradually disappearing.

    It was ministers themselves at their meeting just before Christmas who specifically invited the European Commission to investigate the collection of blood and blood products and the search for self sufficiency - until recently a matter of national competence. The move was led by Germany, which is riding a political storm over contaminated blood, prompting cynics to suggest that Bonn simply wanted to pass its own national problem on to the union.

    But less sceptical observers see the move as a natural development among the member states - who are increasingly cooperating over other …

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