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S&Ds: BECA report marks a milestone in the fight to beat cancer and towards future European Health Union


21 Feb 2022


Health & Consumers

The report by the special committee on beating cancer (BECA) will mark a milestone in the fight against cancer in Europe. We are proud as socialists to have integrated the principle of social justice, the fight against inequity and inequality, and gender perspective at the heart of the report. The battle is not over yet. We expect this important outcome will be integrated into the future European Health Union (EHU). Despite the shortcomings of the vote in plenary, we expect that the precautionary principle, the scientific evidence and the WHO recommendations on tobacco and e-cigarettes will be respected when the Union reviews legislation in this area. 

S&D spokesperson, Nicolás González Casares, commented:

“After months of work, hearings and researches, this report represents today a concrete hope from which to build a renewed and common fight against cancer in the whole of Europe. We cannot turn a blind eye to the fight against cancer; otherwise we risk seeing a 21% increase in new cases.

"As progressives, we are proud to have been able to link this crucial report to the principle of equality and social justice and the need to continuously maximise science and research.

“We can no longer accept a 25% difference in survival rates among member states. All patients, no matter their nationality, must have the same level of treatment. We urge the EU Commission and all member states to act now and to make use of all the needed funds to change this unacceptable situation.

“The compass, the Polar star that has always led us in this report couldn’t be anything other than science. This report outlines several proposals to improve prevention, early diagnosis, treatments and life styles. Science is based on facts, and facts prove the direct link between cancer and the consumption of tobacco, alcohol and bad or low quality nutrition. Yet, we regret that several members of the European Parliament have decided to openly disregard and neglect these facts.

“Private interests or business cannot prevail over the health of our citizens. Never.”

S&D coordinator in the BECA committee, Alessandra Moretti, said:

“European citizens deserve a European Health Union that is able to wipe out social or territorial discriminations, inequalities and shortcomings in all member states’ public services, especially in the fight against cancer. The ambitious report endorsed today by the European Parliament aims at ensuring for every EU citizen best practices such as prevention, but also early diagnosis, screening programmes, research, social reintegration and the right to be forgotten.

“We, as progressives, have been working during these months always following science and scientific evidences. In this regard, we want to underline the need to invest in the best quality research that puts at the core of its interests the good and the health of citizens instead of business or private interests. Furthermore, in coherence with all the efforts the EU is putting into the Green Deal against climate change, we managed to include the clear and direct connection between cancer and the environment, underlying that a more sustainable development can contribute to eventually eliminating this disease.

“This report is just a first step of our journey that we will walk till the end, for the good of all of us”.


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