In an unprecedented high-level EU commitment to countering cancer, the European Commission launched Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan on 4 February (World Cancer Day) at a plenary event in the European Parliament in Brussels. The event was widely attended by cancer stakeholders including a delegation from SIOP Europe and CCI Europe representing paediatric cancers. The occasion showed EU’s strong dedication to fighting cancer and use the collective power for positive change.
The new European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has placed cancer high on the EU agenda calling for ‘Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan’ to support Member States improve cancer prevention and care, with ‘a close link with the research mission on cancer in the future Horizon Europe programme.’ Childhood cancer became a solemn spotlight as President von der Leyen revealed that her little sister died of childhood cancer.
The new Head of the Commission DG for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), Commissioner Stella Kyriakides, is leading on the further elaboration of the EU Cancer Plan. A Cyprus national, Ms Kyriakides is a cancer survivor and has been a proactive patient advocate in her previous roles.
The European Commission has released public consultations seeking for input from stakeholders. The EU Cancer Plan is indeed the first step in turning our ambitious vision into tangible action and make a difference together. Read the full mission letter here and the web stream link is available here.
SIOP Europe has responded to the first consultation with an urgent call for dedicated streams on childhood cancer referring to the ‘WHO Global Initiative on Childhood Cancer’ as an inspirational initiative.