Leszek Sobieski

MA, Department of Public Business Law, Faculty of Law and Administration, The Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań , Poland


In the article an attempt was made to present the assumptions of Polish legislative solutions concerning e-health in the context of one of the basic principles of European philosophical and legal thought – the principle of subsidiarity. The principle of subsidiarity, the essence of which is to leave it to the political communities to carry out tasks for which they can take responsibility, has been incorporated into the legislation of nation states and the European Union, determining
the identity of European civilisation.

Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of Poland are an example of the translation of the subsidiarity principle into legal norms. Attention has been paid to the possibility of decentralising and delegating competences to lower levels of public authority in the field of health, using or amending the e-health legislation accordingly. Appropriate division of tasks and competences in the area of health care, taking into account the subsidiarity principle, can be observed at both national and EU level. European Union law recognises the autonomy of the Member States to define national health regulations. On the basis of selected national and EU regulations, a definition of e-health has been proposed, understood as a set of provisions within the health care system regulating the collection, processing of data and provision of health care services in order to identify and optimise the satisfaction of individual and collective health needs as well as to pursue an effective health policy by public authorities. The basic assumptions of key national and EU legal acts are also indicated. On the basis of the solutions adopted in the Act on Health Care Services Financed from Public Funds, the formal possibility of delegating and effective performance of tasks has been demonstrated in the field of health protection by local government units. New information and communication technologies provide the basis for a more complete implementation of the subsidiarity principle in health protection, as they enable the necessary knowledge on the collective and individual health needs at European, national and any other expected level – regional, population, age to be gathered and transferred. They are a tool, previously unavailable, for the precise identification of the needs of separated communities. On the other hand, new technologies can be a tool for communities to meet these needs to the extent that they are able to provide organisational and financial security. The combination of new information and communication technologies with the application of a systematic concept of tasks implementation based on the principle of subsidiarity will allow for a change in the model of health care in Poland.


subsidiarity principle, e-health, health care

Banaszak Bogusław. 2009. Constitution of the Republic of Poland. Commentary. Warsaw: C.H. Beck.

Dobek Agnieszka. 2008. “Subsidiarity principle in the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court”. “Państwo – koncepcje i zadania, Studia Erasmiana Wratislaviensia”, Vol. III.

Gaddi Antonio, Fabio Capello, Marco Manca. 2013. eHealth, Care and Quality of Life. Springer Science & Business Media.

Kowalska Iwona, Anna Mokrzycka. 2013. Namysły nad problemami polityki zdrowotnej globalnej – europejskiej – krajowej: księga jubileuszowa prof. dra hab. Cezarego W. Włodarczyka, Warsaw: Diffin.

Kulesza Michał. 1998. “Principle of subsidiarity as a key to the reform of the administrative system of Central and Eastern European countries (using Poland as an example)”. (In:) Subsidiarity, Dariusz Milczarek (ed.), Warsaw: Centrum Europejskie Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego.

Montesquieu Charles. 1927. The Spirit of Laws, Book XXVI, Of Laws, as relative to the order of things on which they determine. Chapter II. Of Laws divine and human, Warsaw: F. Hoesick.

Tomasz Musialik. 2013. „Stosowanie zasady pomocniczości na gruncie traktatu z Lizbony”, Modern Management Review 4:147-148.

Pius XI. 1932. Encyclical on re construction of the social order on the 40th anniversary of the encyclical Rerum Novarum, translated by Bishop St. Okoniewski, Warsaw: Katolickie Towarzystwo Wydawnicze.

Popławska Ewa. 1998. “Effect of the principle of subsidiarity on system chan ges in Poland”. (In:) Subsidiarity, Dariusz Milczarek (ed.), Warsaw: Centrum Europejskie Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego.

Spieker Manfred. 1995. “Subsidiarity principle: anthropological foundations and political consequences, Społeczeństwo”, 1: 35-37.

Wrześniewska-Wal Iwona. 2016. „Zdrowie publiczne w regulacjach Unii Europejskiej”. „Postępy Nauk Medycznych”; 5: 322-326.



Sobieski, L. (2018). E-HEALTH IN THE CONTEXT OF THE SUBSIDIARITY PRINCIPLE. COMMENTS AGAINST THE BACKGROUND OF POLISH LAW. Review of European and Comparative Law, 35(4), 27–40. https://doi.org/10.31743/recl.4808

Leszek Sobieski 
MA, Department of Public Business Law, Faculty of Law and Administration, The Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2464-8728


Creative Commons CC-BY