ECO Responds to the European Commission consultation on financial assistance to Ukraine

13 January 2023

On 11 January, the European Cancer Organisation (ECO) responded to the European Commission consultation: Support to Ukraine – proposal for a regulation establishing an instrument for 2023 (macro-financial assistance+).

The consultation was associated to the development and implementation of an 18 bn euro financial assistance instrument for Ukraine, with objectives including “Rehabilitation of critical functions and infrastructure and relief for people in need”.

With the support of several of our Focused Topic Networks, including our Special Network on the impact of the war in Ukraine on cancer, ECO provided the below key areas of feedback for the consideration of the European Commission:

  1. Ensuring the needs of cancer centres and cancer care are in scope. Understanding that “social infrastructure, such as healthcare facilities” are included in the remit of the financial instrument, ECO urge all those entrusted with the implementation of the Instrument have the needs of the cancer centres and cancer care in Ukraine well in mind;

  2. Preparing for reconstruction, with early engagement of impacted stakeholders. Noting article 3 of the proposed Regulation, that the funding instrument should also be purposed towards “preparation of the reconstruction of Ukraine”, ECO strongly recommends that transparent and open dialogue about rebuilding plans involve key stakeholders, such as patients and healthcare professionals, and that this already commence;

  3. Aligning Ukraine’s regulatory framework to that of the European Union. ECO points out areas for attention in this regard as potentially including:

    -Professional qualification recognition,
    -Medicines regulation
    -Clinical trial regulation

More generally, beyond regulatory convergence, ECO encourages activity by all Directorate Generals of the European Commission to ensure current and future integration of Ukraine in the context of EU policy initiatives, including EU cancer and health policy e.g. the EU Research Mission on Cancer, the European Health Data Space and Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.

The latter policy initiative includes many change-making projects to which possibilities for Ukraine’s integration should be actively explored. This includes, for example, the inter-specialty cancer training programme, the EU cancer screening scheme, the EU’s goal for the elimination of HPV cancers and the new EU Network of Comprehensive Cancer Centres

Our full response is available here.

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