Further to its September 1994 session, the Committee of the Regions has published its opinion concerning an action plan for 1995-99 to combat cancer. The Committee endorses the continuation of the "Europe against cancer" programme. It notes that closer cooperation between Member States, particularly in research, is essential to combat this disease. The Committee notes, however, that it is not clear how high a priority the cancer programme has within the framework for action in the field of public health. It also regrets the lack of an overall, binding policy framework in this area. Among other points, the Committee recommends that the principle of subsidiarity should be strictly observed when implementing this action plan. In addition, the Committee recommends the regions must be closely involved in this process so that measures adopted by the Commission and Member States take regional particularities into account. To that end, it would be necessary for regions to be informed in good time of planned measures at all stages of the programme. In conclusion, the Committee of the Regions recommends the following changes to improve the content of the programme: - Breast, prostate and skin cancer to receive special attention in all fields of action; - Preventive measures in the field of public health to include promotion of health in the workplace; - Research to be carried out into the psychological factors in the emergence of cancer; - Steps to be taken to promote research into possibility of motivating adults and young people to adopt a healthy lifestyle; - A comparative assessment of screening to be carried out in various EU countries; - Comparative studies of tumours occurring in families to be promoted; - Therapy studies to evaluate existing data and studies on incidence of secondary tumours to be included in the programme; - Studies and research work on possible carcinogenic effects of weak radiation emissions from nuclear power plants and power lines should be promoted and adequately funded; - The action plan should focus more closely on regional and local aspects of cancer prevention, for example, studies to show the varying regional incidence of tumours in relation to socio-economic factors.
Policy making and guidelines
29 August 1995