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The global and European health governance in crisis: Challenges and opportunities for action for Germany and the EU

The Covid-19 pandemic was and continues to be an endurance test for global and European health governance. Health governance refers to all institutionalised forms of social and political coordination aimed at developing and implementing binding rules and non-binding standards on health issues, or providing collective health goods for the benefit of society.

Shortcomings of the international community in the joint fight against health threats, the geopolitical charging of global health policy and the deficiencies of many national health systems have been disclosed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Against the backdrop of these experiences, the goal of the international community must be not only to make public health crises-resistant, but to prevent future crises through a more robust international health architecture.  Based on this, the overarching research question of our project is: To what extent will global and European health governance be challenged in the future and what possibilities for action for the further development of health governance emerge for Germany and the European Union? Thus, the focus of our project is the identification and analysis of national and especially international health policy challenges with security implications as well as the solution oriented work on problems and reform needs for public health and its governance. Our focus is divided into the following dimensions:

Global issues: Questions here deal in particular with the WHO. Current topics revolve specifically around the possibilities and challenges for a pandemic treaty and the reforms of the International Health Regulations (IHR). The project is also dedicated to questions around the concept of "equity" in global health governance.

EU/Europe: The research project sheds light on the EU's health efforts and deals, among other things, with developments in the course of the discussions regarding an "EU Health Union". Specific challenges in the pharmaceutical sector, such as the supply of medicines and dealing with supply constraints, are current topics of the project.

Overarching topics: Issues of global as well as European relevance are analysed from both perspectives in the research project. Developments and opportunities in the area of the "One Health" concept are currently of particular importance.


The project is a joint project of the à Research Division EU/Europe and the Research Division Global Issues. Its content follows on from a previous project that was carried out from 2017 to 2021. Some of the publications from this previous project are listed here again.



September 2022 – December 2024



The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Health (BMG).


Project management

Project team


Publications from previous project: