Every nine seconds a new case of cancer is diagnosed in the European Union. The disease places a huge burden on our health and social systems, puts pressure on national budgets and negatively impacts the productivity and growth of the economy, including a healthy workforce. Therefore, the European Commission launched the first public consultation on Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan in February 2020 to allow citizens and stakeholders to express their opinion on the best ways to tackle the disease. A record number of 384 stakeholders submitted their opinions.
Our analysis has revealed an apparent overarching theme related to specific sectors (tobacco, alcohol, nutrition), as well as encouraging the uptake of preventative strategies such as harm reduction.
Therefore, this study focuses on these three sectors to allow for a more in-depth research and exploration into possible solutions and strategies that can support consumers to change their behavior, to adopt better life styles, and to encourage policy change and actively support cancer prevention by also pushing forward important relevant national success stories.
National and European stakeholders have a pivotal role to play in the Cancer Plan and we should look at the best practices highlighted in this paper to leverage the success of the Member States at a European level. As Health Commissioner, Stella Kyriakides, said “we must therefore ensure that regulatory frameworks remain up-to-date, fit-for-purpose and citizen centered. Open, transparent dialogue with stakeholders and citizens throughout the policy making process is essential to win their trust and support.”
This study confirms a clear need for European policymaking to be based on evidence and science. The Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan can have a true impact on the public health of citizens in Europe but only by adopting an evidence-based approach and ensuring the consumer is correctly informed of their options.
N° of pages: 52
Authors: Eleonora Mazzoni