At an event in Brussels today, London MEP Marina Yannakoudakis joined representatives of the European Commission and the Cypriot Presidency of the EU to discuss her plans for a life-saving network linking potential cell and tissue-donors with desperately-ill patients across the continent.

The event was also attended by David Burrowes MP who is Vice-Chair of UK Parliament’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Stem Cell Transplantation and Alex Hilton of the London-based charity the Anthony Nolan Trust.

The purpose of the event was to look at ways in which the European Commission and the Cypriot Presidency could take up the recommendations included in Marina’s report on the voluntary donation of tissues and cells.

Marina’s report was overwhelmingly approved by the European Parliament last month. Her proposals stress the need to ensure traceability and transparency in the various donation systems across the 27 EU Member States. They also call for increased co-operation between donor systems to help better match tissues to recipients and increased awareness of cord blood donation.

Marina said: “I am pleased that my proposals have been so warmly received by the European Commission and the Cypriot Presidency. Now it is time to turn these plans into a reality, ensuring that those in dire need of tissues and cells can be matched more easily to donors across Europe.”

David Burrowes MP said: “It’s excellent that Marina’s leadership of promoting cord blood is on the European agenda. We need to work harder in both the UK and across Europe to save more lives.”

Carolina Stylianou, Inspector for Tissues and Cell Establishments at the Ministry of Health of Cyprus said: “Our stem cell donor registry is the fifth largest in Europe and coming from such a small country we are very proud of this.”