The EESC welcomes the Commission's initiative for a European Partnership for Action against Cancer. After circulatory diseases, cancer was the second most common cause of death in 2006.
The EESC highlights the importance of joint EU action, based on information sharing and exchange of expertise and best practice.
The EESC stresses that there are unacceptable differences between Member States in cancer incidence and mortality and calls on the Member States to have integrated cancer plans built on clear objectives which provide a driving force for implementation and a possibility of evaluation.
The EESC agrees that preventive measures and a healthy lifestyle are of great importance and can improve well-being and contribute to healthier and longer life for people in the future.
The Partnership has an important role to play in this respect.
The EESC is committed to supporting the Partnership and wishes to make an active contribution by working through its contacts with civil society at local and national level. The EESC would stress the importance of using the Structural Funds that are earmarked the health sector and are not utilised sufficiently in the Member States.