The role of law in pandemic influenza preparedness in Europe
The European Union (EU) is composed of 27 states with widely varying histories, economies, cultures, legal systems, medical systems and approaches to the balance between public good and Private right. The individual nation states within Europe are signatories to the International Health Regulations 2005, but the capacity of states to undertake measures to control communicable disease is constrained by their obligations to comply with EU law. Some but not all states are signatories to the Schengen Agreement that Provides further constraints on disease control measures. The porous nature of borders between EU states, and of their borders with other non-EU states, limits the extent to which states are able to protect their populations in a disease pandemic. This paper considers the role that public health laws can play ill the control of pandemic disease in Europe.