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Although most member states recognise the importance of having a Community legal framework governing patients' rights for cross-border care' to codify case law from the European Court of Justice (France and Estonia are more hesitant), none are ready to go further. This was clear from an informal Health Council in April. The dinner between health ministers on 6 December, especially dedicated to this issue confirmed it, according to a summary sent to Europolitics. The usual divisions between states (founder member states-new ones, north-south, liberals-socials, continentals-non-continentals) seems to have been completely erased.

The majority of member states therefore underline that their "competencies" in social security and healthcare must be maintained (Sweden is more open on this issue). Fears of encouraging "two-speed medicine" or "medical...

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