Fight against cancer becomes top priority for the EU

"The European Parliament will establish a special committee on cancer. This makes the fight against cancer a top priority for the whole European Union", said MEP Peter Liese, health spokesperson of the largest group in the European Parliament (EPP).

The group chairs had already agreed to set up a special committee at the initiative of the EPP Group last week. Formal adoption by the plenary and the official establishment of the committee is due in the coming weeks. "The establishment of a special committee on cancer is a strong signal that we want to join forces in the fight against cancer to help patients". On 4 February 2020, International World Cancer Day, the European Commission will officially launch the consultation on Europe´s Beating Cancer Plan to be presented by the end of this year. The European Parliament´s Special Committee will make contribution to the plan and assist in monitoring its implementation.

"The Special Committee is the ideal vehicle for this. Here we can pool the expertise from all relevant committees of the European Parliament (e.g. Environment and Health, Research, Employment and Social Affairs, Internal Market). We also have sufficient of time to consult experts and, above all, patients. We need to demonstrate the European added value in prevention, diagnosis, follow-up treatment and social rights and help patients in concrete terms", said Liese.  The EPP health spokesperson added that some of the policy areas were within the competence of the Member States, such as the organisation of health system or the question of what therapies are financed. "Europe can and must also make an important contribution for patients in many fields. This is not least the task of the European Parliament special committee", Liese concluded.