Cancer is more than a health issue. It is increasingly a social and political issue demanding attention and action at all levels.
The European Parliament must strengthen cooperation with national Parliaments, where cross-party MAC groups could provide added value in the fight against cancer. We must enhance common efforts to achieve more Europe with less cancer.
In 2015, the MEPs against cancer (MAC) group celebrated its tenth anniversary and 30 years of the European action against cancer. The MAC group consists of MEPs from different member states and all parliamentary political groups. Our ambition is to appoint MAC ambassadors in all 28 member states, helping to increase disease awareness and improve stakeholder engagement.
They lead by example, promoting prevention, the exchange of good practice, highlighting disparities and inequalities in treatment and opportunities for cancer patients affecting survival rates between and within member states.
During these 10 years, the MAC group has addressed many cancer-related topics; I am particularly pleased that prevention increasingly gains greater attention.
However, it remains a challenge and a strategic objective in the future. World cancer day provides the ideal opportunity to reflect on how cancer control demands a multi-stakeholder approach.
We will only succeed in fighting this disease through strong collaboration between a wide range of stakeholders; policymakers, researchers, civil society, medical professionals and academia.
The MAC group is committed to coordinating and enhancing policy efforts at EU and national level to ensure strong and effective collaboration. Together, we can aspire to a Europe free of cancers.