Research Handbook on the European Union and International Organizations
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Research Handbook on the European Union and International Organizations

Edited by Ramses A. Wessel and Jed Odermatt

Over the years, the European Union has developed relationships with other international institutions, mainly as a result of its increasingly active role as a global actor and the transfer of competences from the Member States to the EU. This book presents a comprehensive and critical assessment of the EU’s engagement with other international institutions, examining both the EU’s representation and cooperation as well as the influence of these bodies on the development of EU law and policy.
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Chapter 7: World Health Organization (WHO) and other global health bodies

Thea Emmerling


The EU has been actively engaged in different multilateral and international health institutions in all areas of its competence in health. Degrees of participation differ depending on status (participant or observer) in the organisation, political will and the existence of EU law in the area. The EU concentrates on the WHO; the FCTC, with its protocol; the Global Fund; and health in the UNGA, in the OECD and in the G7/G20. The EU is an important global health actor, although political will and financial input are not consistently and strategically brought together. Followup of the SDGs within the EU and the next financial perspectives for the EU (2021–7) will indicate where health and global health activities will be placed for the period until 2027.

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