From cross-border healthcare to pharmaceutical regulation, fiscal policies to COVID-19, global interactions to Brexit, the reach of European Union (EU) health law and policy continues to evolve, generating more and more questions about the role of the EU, effects on Member States and other countries’ healthcare systems, and interactions with entities as diverse as the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights and the World Health Organization.

Building on discussions among lawyers and political scientists from UACES panels and the recent “EU Health Law and Policy” project

Health in Europe is…

A virtual discussion forum hosted by the Centre for Law and Society, Lancaster Law School (UK) 

All discussions run between 12pm and 1pm (UK time) via Teams, unless otherwise indicated. 

NB – you need to register via the links below to have access to the discussion! Teams invites will be sent to those who have registered approx. 24-48 hours before the event.

If you would like to attend, present, or be added to the mailing list, please email Dr Mary Guy (m.guy2@lancaster.ac.uk).


Next Health in Europe is Thursday 23 June 2022, 12pm (UK)

                                                        Dr Silvia Capíková (Comenius University Bratislava)

Rule of law as a unifying framework for anti-pandemic response? Case of Slovakia.

COVID-19 pandemic evoked an urgent need for transformation of political representatives into public health leaders overnight. Due to the pandemic, law became an increasingly visible tool of public health, with a myriad of measures passed to enable disease control by various public authorities. Rule of law conceptual framework enables better understanding of problems related to the legal response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with national regulation in Slovakia as a case study to examine how the existing legal framework of a democratic country responded to the need to control the spreading of an unknown, lethal contagious disease.

The combination of legitimate interests of various subjects was very challenging and restrictions had polarized society – in particular the part of the population who did not feel directly at risk from COVID-19 demonstrated its feeling of oppression and distrust, fed by disinformation. Existing rule of law normative and institutional framework served as a safeguard against some disproportionate effects of anti-pandemic measures in Slovakia.

The application of the rule of law doctrine is linked to the human rights value base it is intended to protect, which is inextricably linked to the EU value base. (A “checklist” of empirical indicators had been developed by the Venice Commission in 2016.) Besides need to coordinate to control the pandemic, there is also vital need to control the “infodemic” on the EU level to preserve values and functioning of our common European house.

For more information on this topic, see:

Silvia CAPÍKOVÁ, Eduard BURDA & Mária NOVÁKOVÁ (2021). Measures Introduced in the Slovak Republic in Response to the Public Health Crisis Caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Medicine, Law & Society, 14(2).  Print ISSN 2463-7955 Available from: https://doi.org/10.18690/mls.14.2.321-350.2021

Silvia CAPÍKOVÁ & Mária NOVÁKOVÁ (2020). Challenging COVID-19 Times – Possibilities and limitations of law in regulation of health behavior of individuals. Pp.13 – 32. in  Iwona Florek, Andrea Koroncziová, Jose Luis Zamora Manzano (Eds.). Crisis as a Challenge for Human Rights.  Bratislava: Comenius University in Bratislava. 480p. ISBN 978-80-7160-551-5   Available from: https://www.flaw.uniba.sk/fileadmin/praf/Veda/Zborniky/Crisis_as_a_challenge_for_human_rights.pdf

Health in Europe Winter-Spring 2022

Date/Time Speaker(s) Title Registration

Thursday 23 June 2022 

12pm (UK)

Dr Silvia Capíková (Comenius University Bratislava)

Rule of law as a unifying framework for anti-pandemic response? Case of Slovakia


Thursday 30 June 2022

12pm (UK)


Dr Mary Guy


(Re)Locating Solidarity in European Healthcare – insights from EU competition policy