explaining public preferences towards EU risk pooling for medicines – JEPP Online

Sharon Baute (University of Amsterdam)
Anniek de Ruijter (University of Amsterdam)







In view of the current COVID-19 pandemic, access to medicines has moved centre-stage in national health policy debates. One prominent point of contention is the development of a permanent system of EU joint procurement. Since the issue of joint procurement is politically contested, Sharon Baute and Anniek de Ruijter investigate potential dividing lines in their recently published article “EU health solidarity in times of crisis: explaining public preferences towards EU risk pooling for medicines”. Drawing on data from a conjoint experiment carried out among 10,000 respondents from five European member states, the authors find that Euroscepticism most strongly explains individual preferences over the design of EU risk pooling for medicines. By contrast, egalitarian ideology plays only a minor role. Beyond the pro versus anti EU-integration divide, the specificities of the COVID-19 pandemic raise a crisis-driven rationale through which citizens evaluate the desirability of alternative EU risk pooling designs. Across the whole spectrum of ideological and EU integration attitudes, the support for EU health solidarity strongly depends on medical need. Overall, these findings lend support for policymakers aiming to integrate welfare policy and build a stronger Social Europe.

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