BECA ICM on “Turning the Tide on Cancer” - 27 September 2021
The European Parliament Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA), in cooperation with the Legislative Dialogue Unit of the Directorate for Relations with national Parliaments, invited Members of national Parliaments of the EU Member States to attend a virtual Interparliamentary Committee Meeting (ICM) on "Turning the tide on cancer: the view of national parliaments on Europe's Beating Cancer Plan". Due to the COVID-19 crisis, this meeting was held remotely via a videoconference on Monday, 27 September 2021 from 9.00 to 12.00 at the European Parliament in Brussels.
This Interparliamentary Committee Meeting provided a good forum for a debate on the BECA draft report and Europe's Beating Cancer Plan between European and national parliamentarians. This Plan is one of the key pillars of the European Health Union project. But implementation of the Plan would imply important multi-level cooperation between all stakeholders: Institutions, Member States, all regional and local authorities, social partners and civil society organisations.
The meeting has been opened by Mr Bartosz ARŁUKOWICZ, Chair of the Special Committee on Beating Cancer. The introductory remarks were given by Ms Véronique TRILLET - LENOIR, Rapporteur of the Special Committee on Beating Cancer in the EP. Her intervention was followed by the keynote speeches by Ms Stella KYRIAKIDES, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety and Ms Iva DIMIC, Chair of the Sub-committee on Monitoring Cancer in the Slovenian National Assembly. After the introductory part, the panel discussion took place with the opening remarks of Ms Birgitta SACRÉDEUS, Rapporteur for the opinion of the Committee of the Regions and Ms Małgorzata BOGUSZ, Rapporteur for the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on Europe's Beating Cancer Plan. It was followed by the debate between numerous Members from the national and European Parliaments.
This discussion was an opportunity for an exchange of experiences and best practices on how national and EU actions can contribute to a better rate of cancer prevention, support excellence in research, improve existing and encourage new treatments, and ensure equal access to cancer care throughout the Union. Many interventions stressed the necessity to bridge the existing disparities in cancer prevention and access to cancer care between and within European countries. Addressing these inequalities could have a positive impact on cancer incidence rates, survival and mortality across the EU. Quite a few Members highlighted the necessity of more holistic approach in treating this illness by advertising and educating the society. Preventing rather than fixing attitude should prevail. It encompasses the healthy attitudes like sport, good quality nutriments, regular health checks and less dangerous substances like alcohol and cigarettes. The discussion offered as well the opportunity to address how the coronavirus pandemic affected cancer care and cancer patients, and how we could make cancer care more resilient in the future.