The European Union's responses to the COVID-19 crisis: How to fight a pandemic with the internal market

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In a liberalized market economy, states tend to purchase supplies required for producing publicly funded services, such as healthcare, from the markets instead of producing them themselves. The availability of critical supplies thus becomes a question of supply-side availability and supply chain management, and therefore their availability is conceptualized in terms of security of supply. The European Union's security of supply policy has focused on energy and security and defence. Security has primarily been sought from the markets, while the purpose of EU law has been to establish these markets and to guarantee their functioning. During the COVID-19 pandemic the European Union has sought to secure the availability of medical supplies by relying on a variety of internal market measures: free movement law, State aid law, competition law and public procurement law have all been used in this effort. Collectively these measures have aimed at securing the functioning of the markets and thus the availability of necessary supplies. Following the crisis, the European Union is now adopting a broader policy perspective to security of supply. However, this is still carried out mainly through internal market competences and by relying on the markets as the source of security.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-467
Number of pages17
JournalMaastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2022
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • COVID-19
  • Security of supply
  • competence
  • crisis
  • internal market
  • legal base

Field of science

  • Law


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