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Evidence and Power in EU Governance of Health Promotion: Discursive Obstacles to a “Health in All Policies” Approach

Godziewski, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-7036-2387 (2020). Evidence and Power in EU Governance of Health Promotion: Discursive Obstacles to a “Health in All Policies” Approach. Journal of Common Market Studies, 58(5), pp. 1307-1324. doi: 10.1111/jcms.13042


This article explores the relation between the meaning of what constitutes ‘evidence’ in the European Commission (EC) and the Health in All Policies (HiAP) concept. Since the 2006 Finnish EU presidency, HiAP is regularly referred to by the Commission, but has not yet been implemented as an overarching political vision. While there is a growing literature on technical implementation of HiAP, little work has delved into the political obstacles to HiAP. This article explores three ways in which the dominant meaning of ‘evidence’ in the EC reinforces neoliberal institutional characteristics in a way that undermines HiAP: The problematization of health reinforces constitutional asymmetry; the definition of ‘EU added value’ hampers positive integration; and the politicization of evidence strengthens the Better Regulation meta-regulatory agenda. The article suggests that the meaning of evidence in the EC reinforces neoliberal rationality present at institutional level, and calls for more dialogue across public health ontologies.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies published by University Association for Contemporary European Studies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: EU governance, evidence, politics of health, health in all policies, discourse analysis, health promotion
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
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