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„EU Plan for beating cancer - Is it the way forward and can it fulfil expectations?”


12 Feb 2021


Health & Consumers

Online Debate

„EU Plan for beating cancer - Is it the way forward and can it fulfil expectations?”

12 February 2021

Hosted by

MEP Tomislav Sokol (EPP)

& co-hosted by

MEP Sara Cerdas (S&D) & MEP Nicolae Stefanuta (RE)

Access for patients to high quality, affordable and timely cancer care is a key element in the fight against cancer. Good healthcare services improve patient outcomes, reduce the suffering and side effects of treatments as much as possible and enhance the quality of life for survivors. Good healthcare outcomes also contribute to the efficiency and sustainability of the health care systems

Will the recently published Europe's Beating Cancer Plan be able to achieve its goals and how? Did European Parliament succeed in speeding up European Commission with the intense work of the Special Committee on beating Cancer? What are the EU priorities in terms of prevention, research, access to treatment, survivorship and palliative care? How is it possible to reduce the inequalities in health and, in particular, the large differences between Europe’s west, central, and eastern countries in handling cancer?

For this reason, MEP Tomislav Sokol, Sara Cerdas and MEP Nicolae Stefanuta hosted a debate, to discuss Europe's Beating Cancer Plan and work of the European Parliament Special Committee on beating Cancer. 


EPP MEP Tomislav Sokol: “This is the first time that we have a holistic, systematic plan that does not solely react to current problems, but also radiates into the future. For that reason, the beating plan is a large step forward. It covers all relevant areas. Including even the life of cancer survivors.  The promise of a direct investment of 4 billion Euros into the plan is commendable.

In some areas, the beating cancer plan could have been more ambitious in some areas, however: Joint procurement of expensive medicines for cancer and rare diseases. Expensive drugs are a huge strain for health care systems of poorer member states and therefore these lifesaving medicines are not available in some Member States.” 

S&D MEP Sara Cerdas: “After the launch of European Beating Cancer Plan we need to be ambitious and shape it to better achieve a plan that fits the patients' needs. Only with open discussion, we could implement a concrete, realistic and effective plan that will tackle one of the major health problems in the EU. “

Renew MEP Nicolae Stefanuta: “The crisis we are in convinced us of one valuable thing: only together we can solve the cancer epidemic, that means no one in the Union should be left without cancer drugs, without the newest molecules, without the rarest medicines. No European should be left behind and this is a fight that Europe can win through research, joint procurement and cross-border treatment. Courage for those who suffer and vision for us!

We should also use the beating cancer plan as an opportunity to advertise the EU in the Members States. We should build one centre of excellence in beating cancer in each Member States, financed by the beating cancer plan in combination with cohesion funds, that will visually show what we are doing for them on a daily basis”

Antonella Cardone: ““Patient centricity together with the improvement of health literacy, reduction of tobacco, effective cancer screening, equal access to treatments and innovation, are promising actions to effectively tackle the cancer burden across Europe. Actions that are necessary to revert the striking trend of cancer becoming the leading cause of death in Europe. However, right now Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan is nothing more than a beautiful piece of paper. To accomplish all amazing goals described in the Plan, it is important to ensure its effective implementation and monitoring.”

Eduard Vrdoljak: “Glad to see MEP Sokol taking up this important topic. He is right when he states that there is not a single individual, who has not encountered this malignant disease. We all know someone, who has had cancer, and many of us have personal experiences as well. The EU must continue to address issues that are important to its citizens, and there are no more important things than health. I will strongly advocate for the implementation of the measures of the new Europe's Beating Cancer Plan, because this is a plague of the modern age that we can only stop by fighting it together. With the help of the European Cancer Plan, we must continue to reduce inequalities in the treatment of cancer between Europe's East and West.

Ivica Belina: “From a cancer patient view,  the biggest value of Beat Cancer Plan is taking into consideration the quality of life of cancer patients, cancer survivors and their informal carers /family members, who also bear the heavy burden of cancer; ensuring access to prevention measures, early detection and timely diagnosis and treatment and access to a promise of personalized medicine. The level of care for people affected by cancer and those who can be affected by cancer is a sign of civilization accomplishment of society, also on the level of the EU.”

Titles of the speakers:

Antonella Cardone, Director of the European Cancer Patient Coalition Eduard Vrdoljak, President of National Cancer Control Plan

Ivica Belina, President of Coalition of Health Associations



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