Mission & History

The European Breast Cancer Coalition

Europa Donna is an independent non-profit organisation whose members are affiliated groups from countries throughout Europe. 

The Coalition works to raise awareness of breast cancer and to mobilise the support of European women in pressing for improved breast cancer education, appropriate screening, optimal treatment and increased funding for research. 

Europa Donna represents the interests of European women regarding breast cancer to local and national authorities as well as to institutions of the European Union.

Our 10 Goals

The emergence of breast cancer advocacy throughout Europe can be traced through the growth and development of ED as a coalition of affiliated groups from countries across Europe. The following are the 10 goals of Europa Donna:

Umberto Veronesi
15th anniversary of Europa Donna in Europe

Our history

Our milestone was the European Society of Mastology (EUSOMA) Congress in Paris in February 1993.

Alberto Costa
Gloria Freilich
Umberto Veronesi

At the European Society of Mastology (EUSOMA) Congress in Paris in February 1993 the eminent Italian surgeon Professor Umberto Veronesi, having seen how powerful women’s advocacy for breast cancer had been in the United States, presented the concept of a European organisation involving women in the fight against breast cancer. 


The response was immediate and a small group of women representing various European countries began laying the foundations for EUROPA DONNA – The European Breast Cancer Coalition. Having taken up the challenge, these women made it very clear that this had to be a women’s organisation run by women.


Under the guidance of Founding President Gloria Freilich and a committed Board, Europa Donna held its first conference in Milan in 1994 and firmly established itself as Europe’s breast cancer advocacy organisation. 


While Europa Donna is an independent non-profit organisation with its own constitution and Executive Board, it has received on-going support throughout its history from the European School of Oncology (ESO) and its Director Alberto Costa.