Auteursarchief: Sybe de Vries

Sybe de Vries

Over Sybe de Vries

Sybe de Vries is full professor of EU Single Market Law and Fundamental rights and since 2012 the Jean Monnet Chair. His research and his education focuses on EU Single market law and the interconnection between EU free movement law and fundamental rights. He is the Academic Director of the Utrecht Centre of Global Challenges - UGlobe, which is an international, interdisciplinary platform for research and education, centered around the theme of a contested global order and focusing on conflict & security, human rights, sustainability and development & equity: https://www.uu.nl/en/organisation/uglobe-the-utrecht-centre-for-global-challenges.

How Covid-19 reveals the tensions between the EU’s Single Market and the protection of public health

By Sybe de Vries

Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral (Bertold Brecht, 1928)

During these almost surreal weeks questions were frequently raised in the media and in politics why the EU Member States (and globally) have adopted different measures and strategies to contain the spread of the Corona virus. Especially within the context of the EU one may have expected a common approach to fight Covid-19. On the contrary, some even argued that Corona rather reveals the relatively poor status of European cooperation.

The problem in Europe is that the field of health is in principle a matter for the Member States. In most cases the EU could only adopt supportive action.  Whereas paragraph 1 of Article 168 TFEU reiterates that a high level of health protection shall be ensured in the definition and implementation of all Union policies and activities, paragraphs 5 and 7 stipulate that harmonisation of national laws to protect and improve human health is excluded, and that management, organisation and delivery of medical care and health services are a matter and responsibility for the Member States. In other words, according to Article 6 TFEU, the protection and improvement of human health belongs to the EU’s supplementary competences.

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Brexit and ‘mexit’? The legal dimension of the EU Single Market and Brexit

brexit-doorA few weeks ago the High Court ruled in favour of the role of the UK Parliament in the process of triggering Article 50 TEU. Some newspapers reacted with fury, like the Daily Mail branding the judges as the ‘Enemies of the People’. These reactions constitute an unprecedented attack on the independence of the judiciary, which according to MPs and other commentators undermines the rule of law. These are the latest developments in a series of tumultuous events surrounding the Brexit decision, which have important ramifications for the EU and for the UK. Lees verder