What role(s) does the European Court of Justice (ECJ) play in the Europeanization of communicable disease control? Drawing on a review of the ECJ's case law, especially but not exclusively in public health fields, from the 1950s to 2009, this article argues that the ECJ's past and present role in the Europeanization of communicable disease control is neither that of a driver nor that of an irrelevance. Instead, the ECJ has been responsible for four important elements of the environment that over time led to the Europeanization of communicable disease control in general and the establishment of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control in particular: (1) the European Union itself has responsibility for public health; (2) agencies are a constitutionally permissible institutional arrangement in the EU; (3) EU legislation that inter alia protects public health is mandatory and justiciable; and (4) such EU legislation may not be undermined by liberalizing internal market law. A fifth idea, “mainstreaming” public health, could play a role in the future.

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