• Melania D’AngelosanteEmail author


The chapter aims to analyse whether it is possible to argue the existence of a status of ‘patient’ in the EU framework and, if it exists, what its prerogatives (i.e. rights and duties) are and how it is being conditioned by contemporary EU law. In this framework, the analysis is focused on: (1) the existence, at the EU level, of a concept of patient as an individual status; (2) the meaning of this status, i.e. whether it is instrumental to the creation of new privileges undermining the goal of achieving substantive equality between EU citizens or—on the contrary—to the operation of EU law (based on TEU Articles 2, 3, and 6); and (3) the building of a unitary definition of the legal status of the patient over that constructed by a particular Member State’s legal system. This implies taking into account certain important elements of the EU integration process, such as: (1) the enlargement of community policies—especially since the Maastricht Treaty—beyond the original core of the economic and monetary union; (2) the ECJ case law and European Commission position about the legal nature of social services, under certain conditions, as services of general economic interest to be managed according to the EU rules; (3) the economic crisis and the role played by the EU and Member States to face it; (4) the aftermath of the financial crisis as regards the relationship between the EU and Member States, the decreasing capacity of the Member States to finance social services at the national level; (5) the crisis of the EU integration process and the attempt of the EU to face it, for instance, with its strategy based on the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Legal and Social SciencesG. d’Annunzio of Chieti-Pescara UniversityPescaraItaly

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