College of Europe Masters Thesis on The EU's Contribution to Global Governance: The Case of Global Infectious Diseases (extract)

August 4, 2006

Brussels, 03 Aug 2006

Thesis presented by Oliver WIECHOCZEK for the degree of Master of European Studies at the College of Europe (Prague, June 2006)
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In an increasingly interconnected world, diseases travel at the speed of mass transportation. The global spread of avian flu has spurred fears of a new pandemic.

Poverty-related diseases wreak havoc in Africa and have made an unpleasant comeback in many parts of Europe. Global infectious diseases thus highlight the growing gap between national policy-making and the transboundary impact of policy challenges in a globalised world. Global governance constitutes a possible answer to these global risks. It advocates the international cooperation of various actors (states, regional organisations, business, civil society) to provide global public goods. Global public goods, such as communicable disease control, constitute major building blocks of global governance. They are characterized by nonrivalry and nonexcludability in consumption.

Taking the concepts of global governance and global public goods as an analytical backdrop, this thesis asks how and to what extent the EU contributes to the fight against infectious diseases. It starts from the assumption that the EU – as the most developed regional organisation in the world – can make a change globally due to its political and economic weight.

The assumption is tested in two cases studies on poverty-related diseases (HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis) and avian flu. The case studies find that the EU uses the whole array of available policy instruments to fight global infectious diseases. Although the EU's overall performance is positive, several areas for improvement are identified. They include, among others, issues of coherence and complementarity, inclusiveness and participation, a lack of funding, the need to speak with one voice in international fora and the necessity to frame policy responses more consistently in a global governance discourse.


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European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations -- EFPIA

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