Europe: Benjamin Coriat on “Health and access to care: Why it is necessary and urgent to switch from a global public approach to a commons based approach.”

During the Covid 19 Pandemic, there have been countless calls for the creation of “global public goods” or “global commons” issued by a variety of actors with sometimes diametrically opposed views, as if the two notions had the same meaning. And indeed, even today these notions are still often used as synonyms and interchangeable, leading to an amalgamation of concepts. The meaning and implications of using one notion or other notion (global public good, global commons) is never examined. We believe that, contrary to the dominant view, it is urgent to put an end to this confusion which is not only of a semantic order and has huge economic and social implications. In this talk, we start by recalling what constitutes the notion of “Global Public Good” and by extension the content of what can be called the GPG approach. Then, by difference we present the notion of common good and the commons based approach. Finally, in a concluding section, we present some of the most significant initiatives taken during the covid-19 pandemic, designed and deployed to producing and distributing health products as common goods. Our overall ambition being to highlight that the deployment of the commons based approach that we are calling for, is not a utopia, as it is already moving on.

Benjamin Coriat is Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University Sorbonne Paris Nord. His research domains includes: IPR Systems, Industrial Economics, Economics of Innovation. He has extensively published on the issue of IPR and Innovation and IPR and Health Systems. Main book on this issue  : B. Coriat (ed)  “The political economy of HIV/AIDS in developing countries. TRIPS, Public Health Systems and Free Access”, Edward Elgar, 2008. He is presently running a large interdisciplinary research program on “Commons and Property Rights”. The last research conducted on that topic “Governing Pandemics. Turning Health Products into Global Common Goods”, 2021  (sponsored by DNDi and the French Development Agency – AFD) is available on the DNDi web site. He has published 4 books on Commons. “Le Retour des Communs” (ed LLL, 2015). La Pandémie, l’Anthropocène et le Bien Commun” (ed LLL, 2020).  “Le Climat, le Bien Commun et le Marché” (ed LLL 2021).