IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Social Security and Health Services in EU Law: Towards Convergence or Divergence in Competition State Aids and Free Movement?


  • Daniele Gallo


With this paper I maintain that the regulation of social security and healthcare in EU law revolves around the quest for a right balance between conflicting interests, involving the issues of social rights, State and Market, distribution of competences. In particular, the analysis of the way in which the ECJ legally frames the so called public/private divide permits to underline the emergence of relevant dissonances in the jurisprudence concerning the three sectors of competition, free movement and State aids. The rationale behind some of such divergences pertain to the existence of natural asymmetries on which evolve and take shape the constitutive elements of the European economic and social constitution. In this sense, the lack of convergence is not undesirable per se. On the contrary, it depends on the different role and function exercised by the solidarity principle on one hand and on the relevance of the public financing of social services on the other hand, in their interplay with the choice between abandon or revaluation of a (more or less) idealtpic public/private dichotomy. At the centre of the analysis is the full incorporation or, alternatively, attenuation, in the field of social security and healthcare, of the functional approach adopted in relation to the notion of economic activity. Some other divergences, however, are not justifiable. That is to say that in some cases there seems to emerge a need for a rapprochement between competition, free movement and States aids. This concerns the concept of general (economic?) interest and its potential intervention as a method of positive market and rights integration. Finally, the paper intends to highlight that at the core of the EU discourse is the pursuit of (and the quest for) a healthy interaction and relationship between individual free movement rights, social rights and State redistributive autonomy for the management of national social security and healthcare systems. In this respect, I will underline role, function and potentialities of Art. 106.2 TFEU as the appropriate sedes materiae to balance public interest’s aims and values with market principles and demands, both considered as constitutive elements, respectively, of the EU social and economic constitution.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniele Gallo, 2011. "Social Security and Health Services in EU Law: Towards Convergence or Divergence in Competition State Aids and Free Movement?," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 19, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:euirsc:p0284

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    European Court of Justice; free movement;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:erp:euirsc:p0284. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Valerio PAPPALARDO). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.