91415 - Eu Health Law

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Legal Studies (cod. 9062)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course unit, students: - possess an in-depth knowledge about the supranational legal mechanisms concerning health, with an emphasis on patient mobility and the cooperation between Member States to face transboundary health crises; - can figure out (and solve) problems affecting the transboundary development of health policies at the European level, especially the provision of health services, and are capable to assess the abovementioned mechanisms in the framework of the applicable international legal regime, in particular the World Health Organization.

Course contents

The programme will focus on the protection of healthcare in the European Union and most notably will cover the following topics:

  • the major constitutional and political issues underlying this subject;
  • the competences of the EU in the field of healthcare and the increasing role of the One Health approach in the EU;
  • healthcare as an economic freedom;
  • healthcare as a fundamental right;
  • healthcare as a sectoral policy of the European Union: governance, institutional actors and regulatory framework;
  • the case law of the Court of Justice on health services and access to cross-border healthcare; the pharmaceutical and medical devices market;
  • the digitisation of healthcare systems (e.g., e-Health, m-Health, Artificial Intelligence, and European Health Data Space);
  • preparedness and response planning in the event of serious cross-border health threats: the Union’s response to COVID-19.

With the aim of allowing students to plan their study activity in advance and going hand in hand with the course, the Professors will upload on the Virtuale platform the ‘Course Calendar’, which specifies the topics that will be covered in the various modules of which the course is composed.


A. de Ruijter, EU Health Law & Policy The Expansion of EU Power in Public Health and Health Care, Oxford Studies in European Law, 2019. In particular: chapters 1 (paras 1, 2 and 3), 3 (paras 3.5, 3.6, 3.7), 4, 5, 6 (paras 1, 4, and 5) and 7.

The textbook is available from the Sistema Bibliotecario di Ateneo dell’Università.

Several teaching materials (e.g., judgments, acts and scientific articles) will be uploaded on the Virtuale platform on a weekly basis. These will supplement and complete the topics covered in the textbook in the light of what will be discussed in class, paying particular attention to the most topical aspects of each part of the course.

Some of these materials, shared with students in advance of the relevant classes, are specifically designed to enable their active participation, in accordance with what stated in the “Teaching methods” section.

Teaching methods

The course will take place in presence and it will be highly interactive. Theoretical issues will be confronted with practical cases in order to allow students to understand how the relevant EU regulations are developed and implemented, and how they impact on public health at national level.

Moreover, attending students will be asked to actively participate in class discussions on the topics covered during the classes as well as on the proposed case studies, and they will occasionally be asked to prepare in advance judgments or other reading materials uploaded on the Virtuale platform. The course will host national and foreign professors and experts (also via webinars). The dates and topics of the seminars will be timely communicated.

Assessment methods

The final examination will consist of an oral question on the topics related to those mentioned in the ‘Contents’ section. Therefore, attending and non-attending students can refer to the textbook and the teaching materials uploaded on the Virtuale platform (e.g., judgments, acts and scientific articles).

The assessment criteria to assign the final mark (expressed in thirtieths) are:

  • knowledge and understanding of the notions and principles of the topics and of the legal concepts on which the questions focus, and ability to apply them to concrete cases (70%);
  • appropriate use of technical and legal vocabulary, ability to analyse and evaluate relevant sources and acquisition of the study and research method (30%).

Merely by way of illustration, the award of the final mark will be based on the following criteria:

  • poor or barely sufficient preparation on the topics addressed, low critical capacity, difficulty in using technical-legal language → 18-21;
  • modest or rather adequate preparation on the topics addressed, fair critical ability, decent use of technical-legal language → 22-25;
  • good or more than adequate preparation on the topics addressed, strong critical capacity, command of technical-legal language → 26-29;
  • in-depth and comprehensive preparation on the topics covered, strong critical capacity, sound command of the technical-legal language → 30-30 cum laude.

Students shall register via the AlmaEsami platform, in accordance with the conditions and deadlines set by the University. Further information on AlmaEsami here .

Teaching tools

Teaching materials for regular attenders (e.g., documents, bibliographical references) will be circulated to students via the Virtuale platform.

Students who, due to documented health reasons, experience difficulties in finding the course materials, in participating actively in the course itself, or in taking the examination in accordance with the modalities mentioned above, shall report these difficulties to the Professor by e-mail within the first two weeks of the course.

Office hours

See the website of Giacomo Di Federico


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This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.