The European Cancer Concord and the European Cancer Patient Coalition will launch The European Cancer Patient’s Bill of Rights, in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on World Cancer Day, February 4th 2014.

Three key principles underpin the Bill of Rights – the right of every European citizen to receive accurate information and be involved in their own care; the right of every European citizen to access specialised cancer care underpinned by research and innovation and the right of every European citizen to cost effective health systems that ensure optimal cancer outcomes.

The Tallinn Charter of 2008, when EU health ministers pledged to invest in improving European healthcare systems, is a distant memory. But the justification for this unprecedented commitment should not be forgotten, fuelled as it was by the argument that investment is not only a harbinger of better health, but is also a driver of economic growth, achieved through higher work force participation, increased innovation and greater productivity, in a system that also reduces the pressure on future health and social welfare systems.

The drafting of the Cancer Patients’ Bill of Rights has involved interaction with the European Cancer Organisation (ECCO), the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC), Cancer Patient Advocacy Organisations from throughout Europe, the European Cancer Leagues (ECL).

Launching the Bill of Rights (translated into different European languages to maximise engagement and a national sense of “ownership”) at the European Parliament on World Cancer Day will represent a clear indication of our will to focus attention on the unequal nature of cancer care in Europe and to show the commitment of the European Parliament to fighting cancer.