Europeanization of health policy in post-communist European societies: Comparison of six Western Balkan countries

Eni Tresa*, Katarzyna Czabanowska, Timo Clemens, Helmut Brand, Suzanne M Babich, Vesna Bjegovic-Mikanovic, Genc Burazeri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

37 Downloads (Pure)


Europeanization is assumed to influence health policy in the Western Balkans, but little is known about the actual impact of this process in these countries which constitute a complex geopolitical region of Europe. In this context, we used time trends to explore the Western Balkans health policies during the Europeanization through a cross-country comparative analysis of six countries. We conducted a health policy analysis by adapting the framework for globalization and population health coined by Huynen et al. in 2005. We analyzed 90 progress reports of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia from 2005 to 2020. In particular, we considered chapter 28 on "Consumer and health protection" and other chapters that contained the words "health" or "population health". Evidence indicates that Europeanization influences Western Balkans' policies at different levels. Western Balkan countries revise national legislation in accordance with new European Union acquis as addressed in the progress reports and build cooperation with international institutions. They build national health reforms and reorganize relevant institutions to better address regulations in accordance to Europeanization. However, it is necessary to monitor law implementation so that the current legislation is enforced and further positive impact can be measured on population health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)816-823
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number8
Early online date25 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • Europeanization
  • Health policies
  • Health system
  • Post -communist
  • Western Balkan

Cite this