ECL’s member leagues provide advice, support and other services in cancer control in 23 countries (as of 2016), to a total of 489 million European citizens.

The vision of Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL) is for a Europe Free of Cancers.   The role of ECL is to facilitate the collaboration between cancer leagues throughout Europe and to influence EU and pan-European policies.  The mission of the Association of European Cancer Leagues is to influence and improve cancer control and cancer care in Europe through collaboration between its members in their fight against cancer, and to influence EU and pan-European policies.

ECL is  EU flag and co-funded by health programme LOGO


The ECL Strategy has been renewed for 2014-2018:  (*download here)

Goal 1 Influence cancer control policies
Maintain and strengthen ECL's position in influencing EU and pan-European cancer prevention and control policies.

Goal 2 Promote cancer prevention
Promote cancer prevention for all those living in Europe in order to reduce the incidence of cancer.

Goal 3 Encourage access to cancer screening
Enhance access to scientifically proven effective and quality controlled cancer screening programmes in accordance with EU guidelines and best international evidence.

Goal 4 Ensure access to treatment and support
Promote the rights of cancer patients by addressing inequalities and improving access to evidence-based diagnostics, treatment, follow up, and all aspects of support.

Goal 5 Support the development and implementation of national cancer control programmes and cancer registries.
Work for and support the development and implementation of national cancer control plans and programmes in all European countries.

*The detailed version of our Strategy 2014-2018 is available from the Secretariat.


Areas of Work

The major fields of activity for the member cancer leagues include cancer prevention, public information, professional education and assistance, as well as information services and rehabilitation for patients and their families and relatives, participation in, and support for, cancer research.

In 2015, we are the main organisation responsible for disseminating the European Code Against Cancer, an initiative of the European Commission to inform people about actions they can take for themselves or their families to reduce their risk of cancer.

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ECL Activities

ECL's main areas of activities are in line with current cancer priorities in the EU and expanded Europe, and with the priorities and interests of member leagues.  

Please visit the various sections of this website to learn about what we do and why are are such a leader in cancer control in Europe!


Selected areas of work include the following:

European Union

As an example of our involvement at the EU level, ECL led on cancer prevention in the European Commission's European Partnership for Action Against Cancer 2011-2014, launched on 29 September 2009.

ECL is also active in the EU Health Policy Forum, as well as being a founding member of the European Commission's Health and Alcohol Forum.

Click here for more information on ECL's involvement in the European Partnership for Action Against Cancer.

From 2014 to 2017, ECL was an Associated Partner in the Joint Action on Cancer Control in Dissemination.

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Tobacco Control:

Led by ECL Advocacy Officer Luk Joossens, we are extremely active in tobacco control in Europe and at the global level.  

ECL is the permanent organiser for the European Conferences for Tobacco or Health, where the last one took place in Porto in 2017, hosted by the Portugese League against Cancer.

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Click here for more information on ECL's work in tobacco control.


National Cancer Control Plans (NCCP):

We explore the roles of European cancer leagues in the development and implementation of NCCPs.


HPV Vaccines:

In the form of a discussion forum, leagues exchange information, including cervical cancer, policy, access, and pricing issues.


Patient Support Working Group:

Supporting patients, especially via the Patient Support Working Group (PSWG), is one of the most important areas of work for ECL!  The PSWG is currently engaged in the following areas:

  • Employment and cancer patients
  • Access to Financial Services
  • Psychosocial Screening and Support
  • Rehabilitation
  • Palliative Care

Click here for more information on ECL's Patient Support Working Group.

Pharmaceutical Roundtable:

ECL organises meetings involving industry and cancer league representatives.


UV radiation and Skin Cancer:

We organise annual workshops for the exchange of experiences and best-practices in skin cancer prevention.  Our actions here are supported by generous grants from Garnier International.


ECL Annual Meetings:

Each year, ECL organises a series of meetings exclusively for its members.  These include themed workshops, the Annual Conference and the General Assembly.  The Annual Conference is open to member leagues and invited guests.  The General Assembly is restricted to ECL official focal points.



Our 2017 ECL annual meetings took place in Copenhaguen, Denmark, in September and was hosted by the Danish Cancer Society.


 The Association of European Cancer Leagues implements activities which receive financial support from the European Commission under an Operating Grant from the European Union's Health Programme (2014-2020). The views expressed on our website and reports do not necessarily reflect the official views of the EU institutions.
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The text of this webpage is available for modification and reuse under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License and the GNU Free Documentation License (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts).


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