EUREGHA joins forces with ERRIN (European Regions Research Innovation Network) to raise the regional voice in the future mission on cancer. We welcome the European Commission’s initiative to address cancer in the form of a mission under Horizon Europe in the next programming period. It is, however, evident that this mission can only thrive when stakeholder engagement and a regional dimension are being safeguarded within the design and implementation of the process.

Regional and local health authorities are best placed in developing effective cancer prevention strategies and optimising existing screening programmes, particularly when the objective is to secure equal access to primary care in rural areas and villages. Moreover, the regional experience can help to shape population-based screening programmes at European level thanks to their territorial practices and reports.

Regions are key stakeholders to involve in the mission cancer to overcome uncertainty around access to and outcomes of treatments thanks to their role in the HTA phase. They furthermore have established health innovation ecosystems that in many situations act as living labs, which are vital requirements for testing and deploying new solutions.

On top of that, it is crucial to embed regional levels in the mission activities to ensure that regional diversity and differences are taken into account to avoid further inequalities when dealing with cancer, particularly when it comes to different lifestyles and environmental effects. Lastly, regions are key intermediaries to ensure the link between the mission activities and civil society. They have a close partnership with professionals and also research centres and institutions specialised in cancer.

EUREGHA and ERRIN look forward to continuing the discussion on the development and implementation of the mission and are committed to being an active stakeholder throughout the process. The two associations together represent over 130 regions across Europe and thereby clearly echo the regional voice within the EU arena.

Please find the full statement here.