Message from the President - December 2020

18 December 2020

We have had a few busy months with many new developments. We elected our new President-Elect and welcomed new Member Societies, hosted a successful virtual edition of the European Cancer Summit, discussed widely cancer policies in Europe and beyond, passed eight new resolutions, launched several new publications and initiatives, as well as held two virtual Community 365 Roundtable meetings on Inequalities and Lung Cancer.

My sincere congratulations to Andreas Charalambous who was elected the European Cancer Organisation’s President 2022-2023 during the virtual General Assembly on 17 November. Prof Charalambous will begin his term as President-Elect in January 2021. Andreas, President of EONS, knows our organisation well and has been very active with us, most recently co-chairing the Workforce Network.

I am also very thankful to Philip Poortmans, Past-President of the European Cancer Organisation, for his leadership, guidance and commitment over the past four years. He will continue with us in his capacity as, among other positions, Co-Chair of the Quality Cancer Care Network.

Our family continues to grow, with four new Member Societies joining in January 2021 following approval by our General Assembly on 17 November:

• European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO)
• European Association of Urology Nurses (EAUN)
• European Hematology Association (EHA)
• International Papillomavirus Society (IPVS)

Our virtual European Cancer Summit 2020 on 18 & 19 November brought together 85 speakers and over 500 delegates in a lively discussion on the 12 Summit programme sessions with over 1,600 comments and questions shared through our Summit Watch & Connect feature. We were joined by representatives from the EU Commission, including Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, and Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs And Social Rights, members of the EU Parliament, including the Special Committee for Beating Cancer, as well as leaders from many organisations including the World Health Organization, EU Cancer Mission, ECDC, IARC, OECD, iPAAC, UICC, ASCO and many more key stakeholders in cancer and cancer policy. We were pleased to have the participation of several national Ministers including Jens Spahn, Federal Health Minister in Germany, Manuel Heitor, Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education in Portugal, Anja Karliczek, Federal Minister of Education and Research in Germany and Simona Kustec, Minister of Education, Science and Sport in Slovenia.

The Summit has ended but its legacy lives on. You can now read the Summit Report, view the Summit highlights video, watch the Summit session recordings and visit the hubs of the European Cancer Organisation and our Member Societies, Patient Advocacy Groups and Community 365.

I take the opportunity to express my gratitude once again to our devoted Summit Co-Chairs Isabel Rubio and Stefan Gijssels for the excellent Summit programme and speaker line-up. A special thanks to Mike Morrissey, Chief Executive of the European Cancer Organisation, and the Staff Team for their dedication and outstanding delivery of the Summit.

During the European Cancer Summit, we were pleased to announce with HRH Princess Dina Mired, Past-President of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the European Cancer Organisation and UICC. I look forward to a fruitful collaboration between the two organisations in the years to come.

We have also launched our new ACOE website for the accreditation of Distance Learning education organised by our Member Societies and other education providers. More information is available here.

Finally, I wish you all an enjoyable and relaxing holiday season and may 2021 bring fresh hopes and opportunities.

Best wishes,

Matti Aapro

European Cancer Organisation


Dr Matti Aapro, President, European Cancer Organisation Dr Matti Aapro, President, European Cancer Organisation