A press release was distributed to European journalists in Strasbourg and via email, after the lunch-debate held in the European Parliament, on the 18th of January.
The document is available for reproduction in ECL members' respective countries, to support advocating for a better protection of cancer patients at work.



European Cancer Leagues (ECL) 

Launch the European Framework for Protecting Cancer Patients at Work across Europe 

18 January 2006, Strasbourg, France: The association of European Cancer Leagues unveiled their European Framework for Protecting Cancer Patients at Work today at a lunch-debate hosted by Mrs. Karin Jöns, in the European Parliament. 

The Framework lists practical recommendations to improve the life of patients in their work environment and to allow them access back to an adapted and fair position after treatment. 

Over 2,5 million Europeans are diagnosed with cancer every year, more and more of these patients survive the disease and many decide, by necessity or choice, to continue with their professional life. Recognising this reality and the urgency a coherent supportive framework for all working cancer patients and survivors in Europe, ECL is calling on MEPs to defend and implement a number of basic rights for these patients. 


At a time when the European Union is looking at issues such as Patients mobility, freedom of professional establishment within the EU, and the protection of human rights, ECL urged MEPs to better protect the task force that suffers/suffered from cancer but is still valid and could perform well for the benefit of growth and wealth of the European Union. 

In particular, ECL is calling for: 

· better protection of employees,  

· maintaining employment with policies that enable the employee either to go back to the same job or to be redeployed to a different position in the same company, 

· support from employment authorities for the employee to look for a new job and access to training and re-training schemes 

· access to insurance and bank loans  

· special protection for vulnerable people, such as single parents, unskilled workers, ethnic minorities, self-employed 

· policies to allow families to take special leave during the cancer patient’s treatment, to benefit from financial support and to offer flexibility at work 

- more - 

The MEPs and ECL representatives looked at ways to concretely influence the legislation in favor of workers who suffer from life-long diseases, and discussed the best ways of working with members’ states in this perspective. 

“With this first exchange of views, we parliamentarians have stressed today once more the importance of better protection of cancer patients at work. Cancer patients have to be treated fairly and with respect at work” said MEP Karin Jöns. 

- Ends - 

For further information please contact: 

Pascale Blaes, Belgian Foundation Against Cancer 

Tel: + 32 2 733 68 68 

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


 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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