For some time, the umbrella organisations of the German Social Insurance have been watching with concern the increasing willingness and political interest of the EU Commission, as well as national authorities, interest groups and standards organisations, to push forward with the standardisation of health services and social services at European level.


This applies particularly to services provided by statutory health, long-term care, pension or accident insurance as part of their statutory mandate such as medical benefits, nursing care and rehabilitation.  


Meanwhile, resistance is growing in other Member States. Poland, for example, has started an initiative directed at the Health Minister and the EU Commission which opposes activities carried out by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) that aim to standardise healthcare services. The umbrella organisations of the German Social Insurance welcome the initiative and request the Federal Minister for Health, Herrmann Gröhe, to lend his support. Even though the intention behind standardisation, namely to promote a high level of quality in health and social services, is to be welcomed, the German Social Insurance considers that the Member States are the ones who are best placed to develop the appropriate mechanisms for this as part of their respective national health and social systems. Apart from the fact that the core competences for this lie with the Member States (Articles 153 & 168, TFEU), it is feared that standards which are developed by international or European external committees will not meet the special requirements of medical care and rehabilitation. The German Social Insurance had already drawn attention to this in a position paper on the standardisation of health and social services in October 2015. The position paper is available online at: