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Public Health Aspects, Networking and Training

Public Health Law to Support Pandemic Influenza Preparedness

EC contribution
: € 500 000
: 36 months
Starting date
: Planned for 07/2007
: Public Health Programme
: Law, disease, human rights, public health, generic preparedness, pandemic influenza, expertise, network
Project Number
: 800042


The project consists of two substantive components. Component 1 will develop a network of interdisciplinary expertise in public health law. This will be achieved by establishing a Platform for European Public Health Law Expertise by means of a website to facilitate exchange of data and expertise. The research team will identify expertise in public health law in Member States, establish a network of expertise and facilitate communication and exchange by means of conferences, seminars and web contact. Component 2 will develop a profile of public health law supporting disease preparedness across Europe, by means of case studies focusing on a defined list of public health measures related to communicable disease control and interventions for the purposes of comparison.

While our analysis of Member States' legislative frameworks will inform the control of generic disease threats, the focus of the case studies will be on pandemic influenza control. The objective of the cases studies will be to identify commonalities, inconsistencies and gaps in disease control regulation across states. A database of European laws addressing pandemic influenza will be developed in English and will be available through the website.


Human pandemic influenza poses global challenges to human health protection. Law is an important tool in the armoury of states in disease control, but our preliminary research suggests that national laws across Europe are disparate and inadequate in addressing disease control and prevention. We have shown that, in their pandemic preparedness planning, a substantial number of countries anticipate the need to reform their public heath laws. Given that the framing of laws by Member States varies considerably, the opportunity exists for national public health law reforms to result in greater coherence. Preparations related to adoption of the International Health Regulations also offer an incentive to reform. The objective of this project is to strengthen Member States' legal frameworks in support of pandemic influenza preparedness in a timely manner.

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