A Mission on Cancer

One of the five EU Missions is the Mission on Cancer, which aims to improve the lives of more than 3 million people by 2030 through prevention, cure and for those affected by cancer including their families, to live longer and better.

In June 2020, the interim report on the Cancer Mission was published. The report served as the basis for further discussion and engagement to ensure that the proposed Mission is relevant and will make a real difference. At the European Research and Innovation Days in September 2020, the Mission Board presented its recommendations to the European Commission. Further to this, the Cancer Mission was launched in September 2021 with the publication of its Implementation Plan and factsheet

The Mission on Cancer aims to improve the lives of more than 3 million people through prevention and cure, as well as support individuals and their families affected by cancer to have longer and better lives by supporting the EU's Beating Cancer Plan. Several initiatives will be established as part of the Mission, including the creation of the EU Platform UNCAN.eu by 2023, to lead to more rapid breakthroughs in understanding cancer, and the European Cancer Patient Digital Centre also by 2023, to empower patients in their care. By 2025 a network of Comprehensive Cancer Infrastructures will be created, enhancing the quality of care and decreasing barriers to access of care. 

cancer mission

ERRIN input to the Cancer Mission

In healthcare – including research, prevention, treatment, and monitoring – regional and local authorities are vital actors as they lead, promote, and financially support research and innovation agendas, while also acting as health and care providers. Regions can be key in developing effective cancer prevention strategies and optimising existing screening programmes as recommended in the mission outline. Through their ecosystem, regions are closely connected to both professionals and research centres and institutes specialised in cancer and of course, to citizens to engage them in accomplishing this mission.

In July 2020, the Health Working Group organised a webinar to discuss the development of the Mission on Cancer with one of the Mission Board members. Following this, in October 2020, ERRIN's Health Working Group developed and released a joint statement with EUREGHA calling for the regional dimension of the Mission to be clearly defined and included in its design and implementation. 

In 2021, the Health Working Group held meetings on the state of play of the Cancer Mission and cancer policy more widely. The Health Working Group has continued following the Mission in 2022 and 2023, looking at opportunities for regions to participate in the implementation of the Mission.


Cancer is one of Europe’s five major societal challenges and the projection is that, without strong action, the number of diagnosed cases will increase by a fourth by 2035. Every year, 2.7 million people in the EU-27 are diagnosed with cancer. Across Europe, the possibility of receiving a timely cancer diagnosis and of surviving the disease differs considerably because of inequalities in access to knowledge, prevention, diagnostics, treatments and care. With the number of cancer diagnoses and deaths expected to increase due to ageing populations, unhealthy lifestyles, unfavourable health determinants and environmental and working conditions, these trends are at risk of being exasperated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Cancer puts immense pressure on European health systems and so the Mission on Cancer aims to offer a distinct and comprehensive approach by bringing together research, innovation and policy development. 

Latest Updates

  • By Gianpiero Petruzziello

Express your interest in the EU Missions and New European Bauhaus Calls 2024

The European Commission has launched new calls for proposals to support research and innovation for its five EU Missions and the New European Bauhaus (NEB). ERRIN encourages all members and their stakeholders to express interest in the EU Missions and NEB calls through the ERRIN Project Development Tool (PDT).

  • By Silvia Ghiretti

Governance structures to implement the EU Missions: check the new Mission Data Platform

A new Mission Data Platform has recently been launched by TRAMI, the EU-funded project focusing on transnational cooperation on the Mission-approach and effective implementation of the EU Missions. This tool supports and links with ERRIN's work on multi-level governance in the Cities Mission within the NetZeroCities project.

  • By Lucy Hammond

Call for regional examples: Health WG meeting

The Health Working Group is looking for regional examples for its next WG meeting on 17 April from 14:00-16:00. Examples of projects or practices from ERRIN members related to the goals of the Cancer Mission will be showcased during the meeting. Please send your contributions to Lucy.Hammond@errin.eu by 20 March.

  • By Silvia Ghiretti

Exploring Synergies between European Partnerships and EU Missions – Mutual Learning Event

ERRIN and the TRAMI project are organising a Mutual Learning Event aiming to explore synergies between European Partnerships and EU Missions. The event will take place on Wednesday 7 February from 9:00 to 12:00 (CET) at the NCBR Brussels Office, Rue Belliard 40, Brussels.

  • By Lucy Hammond

European Commission launch study on mapping and evaluating the implementation of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan

The European Commission has launched a study on mapping and evaluating the implementation of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. The aim of the study is to assess the state of play of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, identify further actions to support, coordinate and complement Member States’ efforts against cancer, and build a monitoring framework to assess the outcomes of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.

  • By Lucy Hammond

EU Missions: The European Commission publishes its first mid-term review

On 19 July, the European Commission (EC) published a Communication on the assessment of the EU Missions after two years of implementation. The EC details the Missions' successes but also recognises the need to address challenges related to governance, budget, citizens and private sector engagement. The EC also proposes to add a sixth Mission on the New European Bauhaus.