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The Lisbon Treaty offers new opportunities for action by the European Union in the field of health. It preserves the competence of Member States on public health policy, but when common safety concerns in public health are identified, the EU shares competence and can introduce legally binding legislation. Secondly, the treaty makes the well-being of people an objective of the EU. The Article 9 and 168 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union puts in place ‘horizontal clauses’ about health. This means that the European Commission will have to take into account the impact on health in each of its proposal for legislation. Thirdly, the treaty also strengthens cooperation and coordination of Member States’ health policies, and sharing of best practice, in order to make the Member States health services more complementary in cross-border areas. Fourthly, the EU is now allowed to adopt incentives to “protect and improve human health”. Finally, the Lisbon Treaty makes the Charter of Fundamental Rights of Citizens legally binding (except for the three countries which opted out: Czech Republic, UK, Poland). This charter includes a right to preventive healthcare and to Medical treatment. Source: Euractiv “EU health policy clout “strengthened” with new Treaty.” http://www.euractiv.com/en/health/eu-health-policy-clout-strengthened-new-treaty/article-187926 Treaties: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/JOHtml.do?uri=OJ:C:2008:115:SOM:EN:HTML

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