Important legal notice
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Health - Taking the temperature of European healthcare
“Enhancing patient mobility to enable EU citizens to obtain the greatest benefit from European healthcare systems.”

The problem

An increasingly integrated Europe offers potential benefits to patients through, among other things, greater access to centres of excellence and actions that overcome existing trans-frontier imbalances between demand and supply. However, for these benefits to be realised, there is still much to be done in terms of coordination of legal, contractual, regulatory issues, and in the provision of enhanced information to patients and care providers. These actions, in turn, require a better understanding of differences in how health systems operate on a daily basis and of the practical obstacles to greater harmonisation.

Europe for patients  The future for patients in Europe: benefits of enhanced mobility


EUROPE FOR PATIENTS works on two levels: overviews of issues across Europe and in-depth case studies.

The overviews look at:

  • legal frameworks at both national and European level, with a focus on recent European jurisprudence
  • systems for contracting for health services across borders
  • systems for ensuring quality of care provided.

These analyses will feed into the development of a methodology for in-depth case studies that will examine a variety of models of cross-border care. The focus of each case will be of direct policy relevance. To maximise the chances of effective policy change, the project incorporates a major element of policy engagement and dissemination.

Contribution to policy development:

  • EUROPE FOR PATIENTS builds on the policy process started by the Belgian presidency  in December 2001 (Ghent conference) which eventually led to the establishment, in February 2003, of the High Level Reflection Process on Patient Mobility and later the High Level Group on Health Systems and Medical Care. 
  • It will help build an understanding of how to overcome the obstacles to policies on patient mobility in a way that benefits patients, health authorities and other stakeholders
  • It will recommend actions at different levels (regional, national, European)

Project deliverables

  • Launch report: adjustments on project structure, responsibilities and timelines  – April 2004
  • Analysis of European legal framework for patient and provider mobility – May 2005
  • Report on patient mobility and effectiveness of care – May 2005
  • Assessment of quality of health care, timely information and orientation of patients crossing borders – May 2005
  • Analysis of contracting arrangements and effectiveness of purchasing models – July 2005
  • Detailed examination of the issues identified in the deliverables – October 2005
  • Options for legal changes at Member State and EU level – June 2006
  • Scenario analysis and the impact of possible actions – September 2006
  • Recommendations for policy actions on practical and monitoring arrangements – November 2006


The project emphasises active dissemination, or policy engagement, which is undertaken in two phases:

  • Phase I: disseminate knowledge about the project – February 2004-April 2005
    • Set up and update website at
    • 40 project presentations at conferences and meetings
    • Articles in journals and 2 500 brochures
  • Phase II: disseminate the knowledge resulting from the project – May 2005–January 2007
    • Publish preliminary results
    • News, project activities and results will be available on the projects website
    • Association International de Mutualité (AIM) and the European Observatory on Health Care Systems will facilitate access to wider groups of stakeholders
    • Use Commission’s dissemination channels

Technical information

Project acronym: EUROPE FOR PATIENTS (e4p)
Project’s official full title: THE FUTURE FOR PATIENTS IN EUROPE
Research priority: 2.1. Health determinants and the provision of high quality and sustainable health care services and pension systems (in particular in the context of ageing and demographic change) 
Specific webpage:
Proposal/contract no:
Start date: 01/02/2004
Kick off meeting: 13/02/2004
Completion date: 31/01/2007
European Commission scientific officer: Kevin McCarthy (

Name: Magdalene Rosenmöller
IESE Business School
Abbreviated name: IESE
Address: Avenida Pearson, 21
08034 Barcelona
Country: Spain
Tel: +34 93 253 4200
Fax: +34 93 253 4343


Name: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Abbreviated name: LSHTM
Country: United Kingdom

Name: London School of Economics and Political Science
Abbreviated name: LSE
Country: United Kingdom

Name: Observatoire Social Européen
Abbreviated name: OSE
Country: Belgium

Name: Faculty of Law, Ghent University
Abbreviated name: UGent
Country: Belgium

Name: Centre for Cross Border Studies
Abbreviated name: CCBS
Country: Ireland

Name: Institute of Public Health
Abbreviated name: IVZ
Country: Slovenia

Name: Praxis
Abbreviated name: Praxis
Country: Estonia

Name: European Observatory on Health Care Systems
Abbreviated name: OBS
Country: EU

Name: Association Internationale de la Mutualité
Abbreviated name: AIM
Country: International

Name: Regione del Veneto
Abbreviated name: VENETO
Country: Italy