The fight against cancer is something that we should all be concerned about! On 4 February, in a touching moment in the European Parliament (EP), the European Commission launched Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. The commitment shown by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides demonstrates that the fight against cancer is a top priority in the current legislature.
The European Commission is right! The many and varied influencing factors in our private and professional lives, our eating and living habits and, last but not least, education, require a horizontal approach. We have to work together to make a difference, or as the Commissioner says: ‘All hands on deck’.
But we’re not just starting from scratch. The fight against cancer has a long history in the European Union (EU). Brussels has been a source of many good initiatives for decades.
Germany is already well positioned. Its social insurance system offers a comprehensive range of benefits financed by the principle of solidarity, as well as numerous advisory services. It is also very important that those affected, and their relatives, are provided with support when dealing with the illness.
But we can do more together, at both Member State and EU level. The new cancer plan is an important step towards this. We see a lot of potential in rare diseases, and in digitalisation and data exchange. The decision to use the EU’s Mission Cancer to channel more money into cancer research is also a welcome move.
We mustn’t forget that access to cancer therapies is not equal across Europe. This situation must be improved.
At the beginning of last year, Germany proclaimed the ‘Decade against Cancer’ and made cancer one of the priorities of its Council Presidency starting in July this year. We are eager to see what kind of momentum will be generated by Germany.
In our current issue of ed*, we give you an insight into the range of services offered in Germany and various activities at European level.
I hope you enjoy reading this edition of ed*!