This is the monthly newsletter on public affairs sent by ESTRO to national societies
This is the ESTRO Public Affairs newsletter: a monitoring service offered by ESTRO to national societies of the radiation oncology area to keep up-to-date with oncopolicy issues.
This issue of the newsletter is dedicated to "New European Leadership for Innovation, Health, and Cancer".
Focus of the Month
New European Leadership for Innovation, Health, and Cancer 
European Commission and European Parliament

Happening Across Europe at a Glance


  • Parliamentary debate on the fight against cancer
  • The need for AI ethics guidelines in radiology
  • EU-wide Health Technology Assessment
  • Focus on cancer prevention
New European leadership for Innovation, Health, and Cancer

European Commission and European Parliament
Following the 2019 European elections, a new college of Commissioners is being nominated by the Member States to lead the different Commission portfolios. To be officially appointed, the Commissioner-designates must first go through the Parliamentary hearing process, which took place from 30 October to 8 November. However, three candidates did not pass their hearings, and the Commission will therefore be unable to take office on 1 November as planned. The delay will be of at least one month, the time for new Commissioner-designates to go through the hearing process.

Commissioner-designate for the health portfolio, Stella Kyriakides, and Bulgarian Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, candidate for the portfolio on Innovation and Youth, successfully passed the hearing process.

Ms Gabriel's portfolio is focused on bringing research and innovation into education, culture, and sports. She expressed her commitment to Horizon Europe, pledging to hold frequent meetings about its advancement as well as supporting an increase in its budget from €94 billion to €120 billion. She also highlighted the importance of funding programmes and the European Innovation Council (EIC) in upholding Europe's role as a champion of research and developing its role as a leader in innovation.

During her own hearing, Ms Kyriakides expressed her commitment to advancing public health in Europe, using a "One Health" approach. She will concentrate on tackling environmental health, healthy food, and public health together as interrelated issues. Concerning the many challenges currently awaiting the Health Commissioner at this time, Ms Kyriakides presented her focus as being on access to healthcare
, drug shortages, and Health Technology Assessment (HTA). She also reiterated her support for the cancer plan and promised to act on the use of low-risk alternative solutions and reduction of use of pesticides and endocrine disruptors.

At the European Parliament, the MEPs Against Cancer (MAC) interest group renewed their leadership for the 2019-2024 legislature. The group will now be co-chaired by Prof. Véronique Trillet-Lenoir (RE, France) and Mr. Loucas Fourlas (EPP, Cyprus), supported by vice-chairs Mr. Rory Palmer (S&D, United Kingdom) and Dr. Petra De Sutter (Greens/EFA, Belgium). Secretarial support for the group, which now counts 137 members, will be ensured by the European Cancer Leagues (ECL).

Read more about the MAC’s new leadership and their 2019 manifesto here and here.

Germany >> has committed, together with the Netherlands, to creating a European space facilitating the free movement of health data, while respecting the EU principle on data security. A Digital Supply Law is also being considered, which aims to facilitate and incentivize the use of e-Health.

The Netherlands >>  launched the International Horizon Scanning Initiative with 8 other countries (DK, NO, PT, SE, CH, BE, IE, and LU). It will map new drugs (and soon medical devices) entering the market to facilitate international cooperation on price negotiations.

Belgium >> is investigating the restriction of market access for biosimilar producers by certain pharma companies.

Radiological Hazards Information for Safe use - Guidelines for Manufacturers

A document instructing manufacturers on the development of the document for undertakings in accordance with Article 78.2 of the Basic Safety Standards (BSS) Directive was published by ESTRO and the European Federation of Organisations For Medical Physics (EFOMP), in cooperation with the Heads of the European Radiological Protection Competent Authorities (HERCA). Read it here.

On 8 November, the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) was invited as a special guest to the ESTRO course on Multidisciplinary Management of Melanoma Skin Care. They gave a lecture and added a patients’ perspective to the course.
ECCO Quality Cancer Care Week

The European CanCer Organisation (ECCO) led a week of awareness-raising and debate stimulation on the topic of quality cancer care: what quality cancer care consists of and the policy needs required to achieve it. On 5 November, a live event at the European Parliament was organized on 5 November on “Quality Cancer Care: Data as a driver for improvement”.
MAKE SENSE CAMPAIGN – ECPC and Head & neck Society

On Tuesday 5th November 2019, ECPC and the Make Sense campaign hosted an interactive meeting at the European Parliament to raise awareness of the challenges that face people living with head and neck cancer in Europe.
Parliamentary debate on the fight against cancer 

Following the proposal of the EPP Group to set up a special committee on cancer, the European Parliament held a debate about it during the plenary session in Brussels, on October 9. The resolution on a European Plan against cancer - which would involve a holistic approach to tackling the disease, from prevention to post-treatment care - will be voted on at a future part-session.

Read more
The need for AI ethics guidelines in radiology

A joint European and North American multisociety statement has been issued to highlight the need for clear guidelines on the ethical use of AI-based systems in radiology, to avoid systemic errors as more autonomous AI is adopted.
Focus on cancer prevention

The Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL) stated prevention as their key priority for the EU Cancer Mission. They acknowledged that the effects of prevention can take decades before materializing, but that risk prevention strategies at the individual and national level eventually help prevent up to 40% of cancers.

Read more
Calls for Proposals 
IMI2 – Calls 18 & 19: updated topic texts published
Call 18: standard two-stage call - Stage 2 submission deadline: 26 March 2020 (17:00:00 Brussels time)
If you have any questions  please contact Lara Fizaine
ESTRO Society Affairs & Policy Officer
Copyright © 2019 ESTRO, All rights reserved.

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