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  • Frances Fitzgerald

Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan has potential to dramatically reduce cancer rates in the EU-Fitzgerald

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

Press Statement from Frances Fitzgerald MEP

Wednesday 3rd February 2021

Frances Fitzgerald, MEP for Dublin and full member of the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee, today (Wednesday) welcomed the launch of the EU’s Plan to Beat Cancer and its potential to dramatically reduce cancer rates in the EU. The plan addresses the needs of cancer patients along the entire care pathway, through four specific areas, prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment and improve quality of life for cancer patients.

Speaking in Dublin, MEP Fitzgerald commented, “The Europe Beating Cancer Plan has been an important political priority for the EPP Group and the European Commission as a whole since the beginning of this mandate in 2019. With 2.7 million people in the European Union diagnosed with cancer each year, 43,000 of which are in Ireland, everybody has been touched by these horrendous illnesses in some way. As in many other areas, the European Union can mobilise its resources to tackle cancer in a more coherent, effective and direct way.”

“Currently cancer patients in one part of Europe may not have access to the same standard of care in as in another part. This is wrong and not in keeping with the values of the European Union. I am delighted therefore to see that a commitment to ensuring equality in all parts of the plan is at the core.”

“In line with a key EPP Group priority, I am particularly pleased to see a commitment to rolling out the HPV vaccine to 90% of girls by 2030 and to significantly increase the vaccination of boys. This is an incredibly positive development, and shows the EU’s commitment to both vaccinations and to combatting illnesses that can be easily prevented through vaccination.”

“As the Chair of the Transforming Breast Cancer Initiative, I am thrilled to see that there is a clear target included in the plan to ensure that 90% of all Europeans have access to screening for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings by 2025. While screenings, particularly for breast and cervical cancers, are the norm in Ireland now, this is not the case across the Union. By making this political commitment, the EU is showing that we believe that we can drive down the numbers of people needlessly suffering from these cancers.”

“Of course, with people living longer than ever before after they have had cancer, ensuring people regain their quality of life, including inclusion in society and employment, is crucial. Therefore having quality of life as one of the key pillars of the campaign emphasises that cancer care is not just when you get sick, but a whole of life approach.”

“Finally, without a budgetary commitment, a Plan is just words on paper. Therefore it is a clear statement of priorities that the plan includes a €4 billion budgetary allocation to complete the actions outlined. I look forward to the strategic targeting of this money to ensure that we can do our utmost to finally beat cancer” she concluded.


Notes to editors:

· Press Release from the European Commission:




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