Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, European cooperation in digital health (or ‘eHealth’) has been under the spotlight, as reflected by the adoption of the European Green certificate and by the European debates surrounding the design of contact-tracing applications. All of this shows that the European Union (EU) is now a central actor in the making of eHealth policies, an area in which the EU has, in theory, a very limited power to legislate. However, this limited jurisdiction has not prevented the EU from investing resources to promote the development of eHealth policies for more than 20 years. In this view, the presentation will explore how the EU may affect national digital policies through the use of non-binding European instruments by domestic actors. These various uses of the EU will be interpreted through a framework combining features from the Multiple Streams Framework and from the policy stage analysis, which will allow for exploring the effects of three factors likely to account for Europeanisation processes: actors’ interests, the relationship of a country to the EU, and the structure of European soft instruments in digital health.
Chloé Bérut is a postdoctoral researcher working for the PARI research programme and an associate researcher at the PACTE research centre in Grenoble. Her research focuses on health policies (digital health, health inequalities, democracy in healthcare) with a comparative and international perspective.