Keynote video speech by Commissioner Kyriakides to the MEP Digestive Health Group and United European Gastroenterology – “Digestive Cancers: turning the tide through prevention”

(Source: European Commission)

“Check against delivery”

Honourable Members of the Parliament,

Members of United European Gastroenterology,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

European cooperation and collaboration are the most effective tools we have to protect our citizens’ health.

We are stronger, more effective and more resilient when we stand together – as EU policy makers, as health professionals and as patient groups.

This is what allows you, us to make a concrete difference to people, to families and to health systems across the EU.

So I am delighted to be part of today’s important discussion.

And I want to thank the MEP Digestive Health Group and United European Gastroenterology for promoting digestive health, for working work towards the prevention of digestive diseases, and for advocating for the advancement and equal access to treatments to help improve patient outcomes.

Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan embodies this spirit of collaboration.

I would like to share some highlights with you.

Prevention is at the very centre of the Cancer Plan, and I want to recognise the important work you have done on healthy lifestyles and diet.

Building on your work, I want assure you that the promotion of healthy lifestyles will be expanded across all areas of EU policymaking.

We will update the European Code against Cancer, and are working on the development of the ‘EU mobile App for Cancer Prevention’.

I also want to highlight the European Commission Initiative on Colorectal Cancer – which aims to improve colorectal cancer prevention and care and to support healthcare providers.

On secondary prevention, the new EU-supported Cancer Screening Scheme will help to ensure that 90% of the EU population who qualified for colorectal cancer screening are offered screening by 2025.

We are now discussing with Member States the proposal for the update of the Council recommendation on cancer screening.

And this will consider colorectal cancer and gastric cancer screening.

On treatment, the Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe gives us a chance to improve our system, with strong stakeholder involvement.

The Cancer Diagnostic and Treatment for All Initiative will help to define high-risk populations for rare digestive cancers, and the early detection of cancers for which screening is difficult, such as pancreatic cancer.

With the Cancer Inequalities Registry we aim for a more equal access to cancer screening, and to treatment innovations. The Registry will allow each Member State to better understand their weaknesses and strengths in cancer prevention and care, knowledge gaps and patients’ needs.

This is an important step towards ensuring that everyone can access the same prevention, treatment and care – no matter where in the Union they live.

The financial support our EU4Health programme brings to our Cancer Plan – with over 1 billion euro available for this purpose – will allow us to continue delivering concrete action for patients.

Ladies and gentlemen

We are stronger together – thanks to your expertise, your determination, and your energy.

So I want to finish by expressing my appreciation to the United European Gastroenterology, and the MEP Digestive Health Group, for shining a spotlight on digestive cancers.

And for ensuring the cooperation of medical professionals, patient advocates, and policy makers.

I wish your meeting every success.


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