Table of Contents
TITLE III - INTERNAL POLICIES AND ACTION
CHAPTER V - AREAS WHERE THE UNION MAY TAKE COORDINATING, COMPLEMENTARY OR SUPPORTING ACTION
SECTION 1 - PUBLIC HEALTH
1. A high level of human health protection shall be ensured in the definition and implementation of all the Union's policies and activities.
Action by the Union, which shall complement national policies, shall be directed towards improving public health, preventing human illness and diseases, and obviating sources of danger to physical and mental health. Such action shall cover:
(a) the fight against the major health scourges, by promoting research into their causes, their transmission and their prevention, as well as health information and education;
(b) monitoring, early warning of and combating serious cross-border threats to health.
The Union shall complement the Member States' action in reducing drug-related health damage, including information and prevention.
2. The Union shall encourage cooperation between the Member States in the areas referred to in this Article and, if necessary, lend support to their action. It shall in particular encourage cooperation between the Member States to improve the complementarity of their health services in cross-border areas.
Member States shall, in liaison with the Commission, coordinate among themselves their policies and programmes in the areas referred to in paragraph 1. The Commission may, in close contact with the Member States, take any useful initiative to promote such coordination, in particular initiatives aiming at the establishment of guidelines and indicators, the organisation of exchange of best practice, and the preparation of the necessary elements for periodic monitoring and evaluation.
The European Parliament shall be kept fully informed.
3. The Union and the Member States shall foster cooperation with third countries and the competent international organisations in the sphere of public health.
4. By way of derogation from Article I-12(5) and Article I-17(a) and in accordance with Article I-14(2)(k), European laws or framework laws shall contribute to the achievement of the objectives referred to in this Article by establishing the following measures in order to meet common safety concerns:
(a) measures setting high standards of quality and safety of organs and substances of human origin, blood and blood derivatives; these measures shall not prevent any Member State from maintaining or introducing more stringent protective measures;
(b) measures in the veterinary and phytosanitary fields which have as their direct objective the protection of public health;
(c) measures setting high standards of quality and safety for medicinal products and devices for medical use;
(d) measures concerning monitoring, early warning of and combating serious cross-border threats to health.
Such European laws or framework laws shall be adopted after consultation of the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee.
5. European laws or framework laws may also establish incentive measures designed to protect and improve human health and in particular to combat the major cross-border health scourges, as well as measures which have as their direct objective the protection of public health regarding tobacco and the abuse of alcohol, excluding any harmonisation of the laws and regulations of the Member States. They shall be adopted after consultation of the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee.
6. For the purposes of this Article, the Council, on a proposal from the Commission, may also adopt recommendations.
7. Union action shall respect the responsibilities of the Member States for the definition of their health policy and for the organisation and delivery of health services and medical care. The responsibilities of the Member States shall include the management of health services and medical care and the allocation of the resources assigned to them. The measures referred to in paragraph 4(a) shall not affect national provisions on the donation or medical use of organs and blood.