Why it matters for patients
The EU has provided some way of setting standards and promoting research and coordination of healthcare via Article 168 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, yet healthcare remains a national competence of the Member States. Due to the limited possibility of the EU governing directly, wide varieties exist across the EU Member States with regards to social protections and cancer therapies offered to cancer patients and their carers. This legal landscape is made even more complex by the fact that Member States sometimes find it difficult to transpose EU law, meaning that EU law is not always implemented as intended. The role of the Legal Network for Cancer Patients (LNCP) has since 2016 been to assist ECPC and its members with navigating this cluttered legal landscape through the exchange of information and provision of legal expertise.
“Many people with cancer and their carers face substantial social challenges related to employment and work-life balance. These social barriers are often linked to legal solutions that can be addressed at both the European and national level.”
What ECPC adds
As an acknowledged and strategically situated organisation, ECPC is often asked to express its official position on various policy issues. Such positions are more impactful when they have a sound legal grounding. The LNCP therefore assists ECPC in its advocacy work through volunteering their shared legal expertise on a case-by-case basis. The network also allows practitioners to exchange best practices from action settlement to lawsuit litigation and interpreting and informing ECPC about relevant court rulings, so that these can be further disseminated among our members.
The LNCP contributed to amendments in a number of legislative files in the European Parliament in the last legislature. In 2018, the LNCP together with the ECPC Secretariat initiated the Survey on Social Disparities in Cancer with the aim of creating an overview of the social and legal protections afforded to cancer patients and their carers across Member States.
If you have legal expertise in EU law and wish to volunteer to assist cancer patients across Europe, the network is actively recruiting more members. Legal experts can also be nominated by ECPC member patient organisations. Please visit the links below to fill out your application and the declaration of interest and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.