Healthcare is managed by the member states, but free movement has affected this policy area. For example, all EU citizens have the right to emergency care if they become ill in another EU country.
EU citizens can also apply for planned care abroad for which they can request reimbursement of costs from their insurance fund. One condition is that you have not been able to receive care within a reasonable time in your home country and – in Sweden – that you report your care plans to the social insurance office in advance. Just under 2,000 Swedes a year take advantage of this opportunity.
The EU can coordinate, support and contribute value to the work on improving public health and has a budget of around € 450 million for this for the years 2014-2020.
This is done, among other things, through the collection of information on drug development (a monitoring center is located in Lisbon), support for health campaigns and cooperation to encourage a healthier lifestyle with more exercise, better eating habits and reduced tobacco use.
Furthermore, a network for European excellence in healthcare has been set up. It is proposed to establish centers for rare diseases in order to gather the existing expertise.
In the spring of 2018, the European Commission proposed that EU countries should be able to share patient records and other medical data across borders.
14 EU countries, including Sweden, have also decided to establish a common database for genetic data that can, among other things, make it easier to create personalized medicines.
The EU is also responsible for monitoring and warning of communicable diseases if they reach Europe and can coordinate efforts to stop a threatening epidemic. When bird flu reached Europe, the EU was able to take coercive measures to stop the spread. During the epidemic spread of swine flu in 2010, the EU provided vaccines between those countries that had a lot and those that did not.
According to philosophynearby, the EU is committed to creating a European education sphere, with the idea that education is the key to both growth, jobs and personal development. The initiatives are not least about supporting EU citizens’ ability to exercise their free movement.
When it comes to education policy, the EU’s role is to support and coordinate but not regulate.
Various goals in the area go under the collective name “European Education Area”.
A cornerstone is that European universities have made educations and degrees comparable so that a university degree from one of 48 countries (EU and 20 neighboring countries) is now recognized by all. The EU goes further in getting high school and high school grades recognized as well.
EU pride The Erasmus program has for 30 years funded scholarships for nine million European students who have been able to study abroad for at least six months. Erasmus was first extended also to teachers, then to vocational training and apprentices, adult education and exchange between schools.
Even without an Erasmus scholarship, there is a right to study in other EU countries and to be able to bring your student aid. Between 25-30,000 Swedish young people use this every year. Among the more popular study places are Latvian Vilna and Polish Gdansk where Swedes can study medicine in English.
The EU also aims for all European children to have read two languages other than their mother tongue when leaving school and for at least 100,000 young people between the ages of 18 and 30 to have participated in volunteer work in another EU country by 2020.
EU countries set in 2000 a number of voluntary goals for education policy. The first was to reduce the number of young people who drop out of high school without grades to a maximum of 10 percent. In 2010, the average was 14 percent and in 2016 it was down to 11 percent.
In the same year, an average of 39% of young people in the EU went on to higher education than upper secondary school, very close to the target set (40%).
A third goal was to increase the number of EU citizens undergoing further education in adulthood, so-called “lifelong learning” to 15 percent. During the year 2016, 11 percent of the workforce underwent some form of adult education.
A financial goal is that all EU countries should spend 5 percent of their state budget on education annually. In 2016, that goal was almost met (4.7 percent on average).
A discussion is underway about increasing the level of ambition for the year 2025, for example to a maximum of 5 percent dropout from high school and 25 percent in adult education (a goal the Scandinavian countries already exceed).
The EU also directs Structural Funds and other EU funds towards initiatives specifically to raise the level of education in the member states.
A new ambition from 2018 is to guarantee all schools a connection to the Internet and to introduce digital knowledge as part of the teaching.