Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Previous programme


Programme funding

EUR 64 million

Official Journal Reference

L 95 of 1996-04-16

Legislative Reference

646/96/EC of 1996-03-29
To increase the knowledge of the causes of cancer and possible methods of prevention, through concentration on risk factors, early detection and systematic screening, improved collection of data and updating of information on cancer mortality and morbidity, and studies and actions concerned with quality of care for cancer patients; to contribute to the achievement of Community objectives in the field of public health.


This third phase of the Europe against Cancer programme is established to pursue and develop the achievements of the previous two action programmes, 1987-89 and 1990-94. The content of the third action plan takes account of the objectives to be achieved by the Community in the field of public health, particularly those to be implemented in the context of the new Article 129 of the Treaty on European Union.

Actions taken to promote closer cooperation with the Member States under the previous two phases of the programme (e.g. European pilot networks, joint actions and information exchange systems) will be safeguarded and further developed under the third action programme. In addition, specific proposals will be developed to promote cooperation between the Member States in the fields of quality control regarding care, palliative care and responsibility for patient welfare.

In order to maximise the effects of the actions pursued under the third action plan, efforts will be made to stimulate the use and development of a high performance information communication infrastructure. To this end, close collaboration will be established with the specific programme on "Telematics applications of common interest" under the Fourth Framework Programme.

The Europe against Cancer programme will contribute to the identification of needs in cancer research at European level and support the creation of an inventory of research in progress. Cancer research will be conducted within the context of the Fourth Framework Programme (1994-98) and, specifically, the second phase of the Biomedical and Health programme which includes provisions for basic and clinical research into cancer.

Measures to ensure the dissemination of research results will be strengthened by supporting scientific evaluation, consensus conferences and exchange of personnel. This action will complement existing programmes in the field of mobility of scientific and university researchers.

Cooperation with international organizations (e.g. WHO, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), OECD, etc.) will be continued during the period 1995-99. Collaboration will also be improved with international scientific NGOs, such as the Federation of European Cancer Societies (FECS) and the European Organization on the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), the Organization of European Cancer Research Institutes (OECI) in the field of training and for the development of links with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) and the European Cancer Leagues (ECL) in the field of public information. In particular, possibilities for improving collaboration with the UICC in the area of prevention and screening will be explored.


Four areas:

- Data collection and research:
To extend and improve knowledge on the causes, prevention and treatment of cancer and to facilitate the collection of reliable and comparable data on the incidence of cancer, including data on paediatric oncology, in particular to identify trends and to devise European-scale epidemiological studies. A contribution is also to be made to the selection of priorities for cancer research to be conducted under the Community's RTD Framework Programme and, in particular, under the specific programme on Biomedicine and Health which contains an action on basic and clinical cancer research;

- Information and health education:
To help to improve knowledge of cancer risks and cancer prevention among European citizens and to encourage them to adopt healthier lifestyles and to promote and assess policies and measures related to cancer causes and risks. Specific actions include:
. Establishment of an annual "Europe against cancer" week;
. Improving the dissemination and effectiveness of cancer prevention messages;
. Supporting and extending pilot action networks for providing information and exchanges with regard to cancer prevention;
. Promoting information and awareness campaigns for specific population groups on health promotion and cancer prevention;
. Encouraging projects with a European dimension relating to the prevention of tobacco consumption;
. Contributing to the formulation and implementation of integrated health education programmes in different life contexts;
. Support for exchanges of experience under the integrated health education programmes with the aim of improving initial and continuing training for teachers and project supervisors in the area of cancer prevention;
. Support for the production and dissemination of Community cancer prevention teaching materials;

- Early detection and screening:
To help improve and increase the possibilities of early detection, in particular through the development and dissemination of effective screening programmes and appropriate practices:
. Support for European pilot project networks in the field of mass screening for breast and cervical cancer;
. Support for the preparation and dissemination at European level of a common terminology and classification to improve the quality of anatomical and cytopathological interpretation;
. Support for European feasibility studies for early mass screening for ovary, prostate, skin, colon/rectum and mouth cancers;

- Training and quality control:
To help improve cancer-related training for healthcare workers, including training in paediatric oncology and quality control methods. specific actions include:
. Further implementation of the Commission Recommendation of 8 November 1989 concerning the training of health personnel working in the cancer domain;
. Support for the mobility of health professionals (particularly trainers);
. Support for exchanges of experience and the drawing up and dissemination of conference recommendations;
. Preparation of teaching materials of European interest aimed at improving training for healthcare workers;
. Promotion of initiatives and support for European studies and dissemination of their conclusions, particularly in the context of European-level meetings and exchanges of experience;
. Support for pilot projects in the area of quality assurance, including dissemination and evaluation of the results, with particular reference to practices connected with checks on radiotherapy installations and the training of health personnel.


The Commission is responsible for implementing the plan of action, assisted by an advisory committee consisting of representatives of each Member State and chaired by a representative of the Commission. The Commission will ensure that the actions covered in the action plan are implemented in close cooperation with the Member States and with institutions and organizations active in the prevention of cancer. The National Coordinating Committees will continue to play an important role in the implementation of the plan.

In implementing the action plan, the Commission must ensure that there is consistency and complementarity with other Community programmes and initiatives, in particular the Biomedical and Health programme under the Fourth Framework Programme.

A budget of ECU 64 million has been allocated for the implementation of the programme over the five year period. The budgetary authority will determine the financial resources available for each financial year.

Cooperation with non-member countries and with international organizations competent in the field of public health will be encouraged during the implementation of the action plan. The EFTA states and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe may participate in the activities covered by the programme in accordance with the conditions set out in the agreements they have concluded with the Community.

The Commission is required to publish annual reports on the progress in implementing the action plan and on potential Community financing for the various domains, taking into account the reports to be drawn up by the Member States. The annual reports are communicated to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.

The Council and the Parliament will evaluate the actions undertaken on the basis of an interim report to be submitted by the Commission before the end of 1997. An overall report will be submitted upon completion of the action plan.
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top