On the 9th of June 2021, the Commission debate “Preparation for the Formal EU Health Council of 15 June” took place in the Dutch House of Representatives. During this debate, MPs discussed, with Minister De Jonge of Health, Welfare and Sport, the agenda items that will be discussed during the Formal EU Health Council on the 15th of June. On the 15th, the EU ministers of Health, Welfare and Sport discuss various matters regarding the corona policy and the plans for more cooperation in Europe in the field of public health. For example, the European Commission’s plans to combat cancer, the Europe’s Beating Cancer plan, and the Samira action plan (strategic agenda for medical applications of ionizing radiation) are on the agenda.
During the debate, MPs from D66, VVD and CDA (Dutch political parties) drew attention to the security of supply of medical isotopes. Aukje de Vries (VVD) and Joba van den Berg (CDA) pointed out that the current High Flux Reactor (HFR) provides 60 to 70% of the European need for medical isotopes. Other member states therefore have a strong interest in the construction of the PALLAS-reactor. This should lead to more involvement and willingness of Europe to co-finance.
The parties VVD and CDA submitted a motion on PALLAS on the 10th of June, as a follow-up to that debate. This motion stated that “the security of supply of medical isotopes is of great importance for the diagnosis of, among other things, cardiovascular diseases and the treatment of cancer”. According to the petitioners, the Netherlands plays an important role for the European Union, among others with the PALLAS-reactor. The motion pointed out that the European Cancer Plan and the action plan Samira provide important opportunities. That is why the government was requested “when implementing this action plan, to also focus on (financial) support from the European Union to guarantee the security of supply of medical isotopes”.
This motion was passed unanimously. All parties in the House of Representatives support the aim to ensure that the importance of the construction of the PALLAS-reactor in Europe is properly brought to the attention. An important step forward.