Europe’s strategy for fighting cancer will be at the core of a special commission that the European Parliament is preparing to set up, the European People’s Party (EPP), the main group within the legislative body, announced on Monday.
This means the fight against cancer is becoming a priority for the entire European Union, EPP spokesperson on health matters, Germany’s Peter Liese, said in a press release.
The presidents of the political groups in the European Parliament agreed last week to set up the new commission, which the EPP saw as a priority. The proposed commission is expected to be adopted at a plenary session of the European Parliament and officially established in the next few weeks.
Liese explained that the European Commission needs to launch consultations on its plan to fight cancer on 4 February, the International Day against Cancer, and present it by the end of this year. The parliamentary commission will contribute to this and will also monitor the plan’s implementation, he said.
The commission is the “ideal vehicle for that”, Liese commented, adding that the expertise of all other relevant commissions (Environment and Health, Research, Employment and Social Affairs, Domestic Market) could be added to it.
Still, Europe cannot do everything in this domain, since many areas in the field of health are the purview of Member States, such as organising the health system and providing financial support for therapies, the EPP Spokesman noted.