The European Parliament on Thursday approved the creation of a special committee focusing on the fight against cancer.
Cancer kills 1.3 million Europeans every year and remains the second leading cause of death after cardiovascular disease.
The committee was approved with 651 votes in favour, 18 against and eight abstentions.
Its tasks will include assessing opportunities for action at an EU level, identifying legislation and other measures that can help prevent and combat the disease, and examining how best to support research.
The European Parliament can set up special committees to deal with special specific issues. They have a term of 12 months which can be extended.
The list of members of the special committee on the fight against cancer will be announced at a forthcoming plenary session.
“We know that at least four out of ten cancers can be prevented”, stressed Belgian MEP Petra De Sutter, who has a doctorate in biomedical sciences.
De Sutter stressed the need to ban substances that cause cancer and to better regulate the food and tobacco industries.
The European Commission is due to present its plan to fight cancer before the end of the year.
Several other special committees were approved on Thursday. One deals with foreign interference in the democratic processes of the EU, and another will look into artificial intelligence (AI) and propose a road map including EU targets in this field.
The Brussels Times