Today, coinciding with World Cancer Day and the Commission’s launch of the consultation period for Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, the European Parliament confirms the establishment of a new Parliamentary Intergroup dealing exclusively with cancer.
The growing cancer burden in Europe remains one of the leading medical and societal challenges of our time despite consistent efforts in recent years to address it. For this reason, the Parliamentary Intergroup on Cancer is a welcome addition to the institutional toolbox dealing with this issue and, unlike other institutions such as the ENVI Committee, would be able to dedicate its time and resources to fully explore the numerous different aspects of cancer control and organise activities that can bridge the gap between European institutions and its citizens.
“Beating cancer can’t be done by a single actor, it is an opportunity for stakeholders at all levels and across a range of experiences and backgrounds to collaborate on this plan for the benefit of all Europeans. Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan is an act of European unity,” said Romanian MEP Cristian-Silvu Busoi who led the process to establish this Intergroup.
This Parliamentary Intergroup will serve as the central and inclusive forum for MEPs from all political groupings to engage in dialogue with medical practitioners and researchers, patients, cancer survivors and carers and leaders of the pharmaceutical industry by holding hearings or debates and leading fact-finding missions on salient topics such as prevention, access to treatment, medicine shortages, quality of life and research innovation in cancer care.
Furthermore, the Parliamentary Intergroup will be best placed to give voice to cancer patients themselves, giving MEPs access to actual testimonies and patient experiences and allowing citizens to express their needs directly to European policymakers. Finally, the intergroup will influence the goals and guide the implementation of both the Cancer Mission and Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, and further enhance the inter-institutional capabilities of the Intergroup.
“As the largest umbrella association of cancer patients, we fully welcome that cancer became the priority in Europe. We believe the focus should be placed on patients not on the disease itself. Today, cancer can be cured but the damage is done. We need to focus more on curing people,” said ECPC President Kathi Apostlidis.
The European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) with its 450-member cancer patient organisations across the EU is best placed to act as the intermediary between the Parliamentary Intergroup on Cancer and civil society at large. In its capacity as a secretariat of the intergroup ECPC can engage cancer patients, carers and survivors and facilitate knowledge sharing across its pan-European network of organisations that are influencing public health and cancer polices.
About the European Cancer Patient Coalition
European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) is the voice of cancer patients in Europe. With over 450 members, ECPC is Europe’s largest umbrella cancer patients’ association, covering all 28 EU member states and many other European and non-European countries. ECPC represents patients aﬀected by all types of cancers, from the rarest to the most common.
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