Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-10-24-Speech-2-049"

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"Madam President, Commissioners, I should like to start by thanking my fellow Members for their hard work and for the clarity of their comments. The problem we are discussing today is a serious one: one only needs to look at the alarming statistics on the occurrence of breast cancer in Europe and to see the number of deaths caused by this disease to be convinced of that. This problem is made all the more serious by the fact that there are major inequalities between countries with regard to both the prevention and the treatment of cancer, and these inequalities have become even more pronounced since the last enlargement. Although the Treaties state that, in conjunction with the Member States, the European Union shall work to protect and promote the health of European citizens, we nevertheless need to give greater emphasis to the phrase 'in conjunction', because the EU's guidelines and recommendations have not been taken sufficiently into account. We now need to respond to this state of affairs, and not continue to tolerate it. The European Union must ensure that its citizens have equal access to the detection and management of the disease, and to the best available treatments. We can do this by legislative and budgetary means, as well as through the Structural Funds and research programmes. We must channel all the resources necessary to research all the causes of this disease, be they environmental, social or genetic, and to undertake research into innovative treatments. The Commission needs to present us with some proposals in this regard, and I really do think that the European Union should make the fight against breast cancer, and against cancer in general, a political priority, because together we will always be stronger. This is the added value of the European Union that the people of Europe expect. Studies, diagnostics, evaluations and resolutions are all necessary, but action is absolutely vital. The Commission and the Council should therefore heed our warning cry and lose no more time."@en1

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