Where do we go from here?
Here is an update on the state of play regarding the campaign on the Paediatric Medicines Regulation (PMR).
A Resolution to be put before the European Parliament has been drafted by members of the European Society for Paediatric Oncology, Unite2Cure and Cancer Research UK. The Resolution has now been been approved for debate in the Parliament and we expect this to take place in Strasbourg by the end of October. It is being sponsored by Francoise Grosstete of France and Elena Gentile of Italy. It will give a clear message to the Health Commissioner to act boldly in the forthcoming Review of the PMR.
Prior to this, there will be a special meeting of MEPs Against Cancer (MAC) Group in the European Parliament on 7 September, which will call for revision of the PMR. We hope to organise a ‘stunt’ (eg. a human ‘gold ribbon) to coincide with one of the above meetings.
Unite2Cure ‘ambassadors’ are working to lobby national politicians to exert influence on their representatives in the Europe, including members of the Council. In France, there was a lobby dinner for the Senate on 28 June. An extraordinary session on the PMR wiil be held at the European Council on13 September, arranged by French Health Minister. In the UK, a meeting is being sought with the Life Sciences Minister and appointments have already been made with the UK Research Attache and Health Attache. ‘Ambassadors’ are working in Germany and Italy on similar lines.
A public consultation on the PMR will be launched by the Commission in the autumn, in which we have been invited to participate.
What part can you play?
When we have a date for the debate to be held in the Parliament, we will be asking supporters to mobilise their networks in a letter writing campaign to MEPs.
If you want to get involved as am ‘ambassador’ in your country, contact email@example.com
A Note on BREXIT
The ‘leave’ vote in the recent referendum in the UK is a matter of great concern for those who wish to see collaboration on cancer research in Europe and to use its democratic institutions to this end. However, article 50 has not been invoked and even if Britain does begin withdrawal from the European Union, this process is likely to take many years. Given the level of uncertainty, British MEP, Glenis Wilmott, is allowing French and Italian representatives take the lead, though she is still fully engaged in the process.
Unite2Cure is, therefore, continuing with ‘business as usual’ and is optimistic of the results we can achieve through 2016 and 2017. We have everything to play for. The continued collaboration of supporters within the EU and beyond will be greatly appreciated.