EU health governance: An opportunity for trust and solidarity?

On 13-14th April 2023, the Law Centre for Health & Life (Faculty of Law), in collaboration with the Amsterdam Centre of European Studies (ACES), and the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance (ACELG) organise a conference on ‘EU health governance: An opportunity for trust and solidarity?’ at droog. This project is co-funded by European Commission Erasmus Plus Programme of the European Union.


Trust and solidarity are fundamental to the governance of health and healthy living environments in Europe and globally. At the EU level, health issues are ubiquitous, which is visible in the EU’s role in transcending sectoral governance of information, industry, environment, and trade, even though health is not considered in all policies. Trust in (trans)national lawmakers, regulators, inspectors, and private industry for bringing us safe food from the farm to our fork, and for protecting our clean air and fresh water, is essential for us to meet our basic health needs and to enjoy our human rights. Patients must place their trust in a range of mediators (ex. health facilities, medical product regulators, the business sector) on the path to receiving healthcare. Solidarity is also a critical component of policy interventions for the protection and betterment of public health (ex. to reduce hormones in the food chain), and for safeguarding individual health (ex. cross-border healthcare).

The EU’s law and policy are both shaped by and impacting on public trust and solidarity among and within European countries and the wider world. Now, our trust and notions of solidarity are being disrupted by new technologies (ex. AI-mediated healthcare, health apps, e-health), globalization (ex. long supply chains, international trade and migration), and emerging health threats (ex. antimicrobial resistance, pandemic pathogens). These challenges increasingly stress political and social cohesion between and within European countries and are increasingly met by new regulatory responses (ex. fast-tracked medicines licensing, regional/global regulatory harmonization, proposals to expand the EU’s reach in health policy). At the same time, the EU’s internal market regulation impacts on commodities and human health far beyond its borders. As a result, trust and solidarity in health-related matters have a tremendous potential to influence human health and the living environment in the EU and the wider world.

Keynote speakers

  • Barbara Prainsack (University of Vienna): Professor for Comparative Policy Analysis; Head of Research Platform Governance of digital practices; Chair of European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE).
  • Heidi Larson (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of London): Professor of Anthropology, Risk and Decision Science and Founding Director of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She is also Clinical Professor of Health Metrics Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, USA, and Guest Professor at the University of Antwerp, Belgium.
  • Tammy Hervey (City, University of London): Studied at Glasgow and Sheffield, and held academic posts at Durham, Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield Law Schools, before joining The City Law School in 2021. She is Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law ad personam.


Thursday 13 April 2022 

  • 12:00 – 12:30 Arrival, Registration & Walking Lunch 
  • 12:30 – 12:40 Word of Welcome Anniek de Ruijter
  • 12:40 – 13:30 Keynote Health Solidarity – Barbara Prainsack 
  • 13:35 – 15:00 Session 1. EU Health Solidarity: law, politics and belonging 
  • 15:15 – 16:10 Keynote Trust – Heidi Larson
  • 16:15 – 17:45 Session 2. Trust in EU health law and policy 
  • 17:45 – 18:00 Plenary Discussion 
  • 18:00 – …  Drinks and 3-course Dinner

Friday 14 April 2023 

  • 9:30 – 10:00 Arrival & coffee 
  • 10:00 – 10:55 Keynote Solidarity/Trust in EU Health Law – Tammy Hervey
  • 11:00 – 12:30 Session 3. Health and welfare in Europe: New dimensions of trust and solidarity
  • 12:30 – 13:00 Plenary discussion & Steps forward