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Brussels – On 22 July, the European Parliament adopted the written declaration “On the Fight Against Breast Cancer in the EU” (0017/2015) which calls for the implementation of measures across Europe to fight this disease, which is the leading cause of death in European women aged 35 to 59. A majority of MEPs signed the declaration, which was co-authored by 10 MEPs and backed by EUROPA DONNA – The European Breast Cancer Coalition.

“The adoption of this written declaration is a significant step forward at a European level and must now be taken to a national level. The European Parliament has already recognised the need for high quality breast care through its Resolutions on Breast Cancer of 2003 and 2006 and through the European Commission-published European Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Breast Cancer Screening and Diagnosis. This declaration serves to remind MEPs and inform new MEPs that these still need to be implemented equally in all countries across the EU,” said Roswitha Britz (Spain), President of EUROPA DONNA.

As stipulated in the declaration, together with the names of the signatories the declaration will be forwarded to the Council of Europe and the European Commission. Its passing will be announced at the next part-session of the Parliament in September.

The declaration is an initiative of MEP Nessa Childers (Ireland) with co-signatories MEPs Simona Bonafè (Italy), Anna Záborská (Slovakia), Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg (Poland), Françoise Grossetête (France), Marisa Matias (Portugal), Emma McClarkin (UK), Biljana Borzan (Croatia), Alojz Peterle (Slovenia) and Miriam Dalli (Malta).

Every year 361,608 women in the European Union are diagnosed with breast cancer and 91,585 women die of the disease.  1 in 8 women in the EU-28 will develop breast cancer before the age of 85. Early diagnosis through population based mammography screening programmes together with care and treatment in specialist breast units improves both mortality and quality of life.  The Declaration therefore calls for the following:

  • Member States to implement nationwide breast screening, in accordance with EU guidelines
  • Member States to provide multidisciplinary specialist breast units in accordance with EU guidelines by the 2016 deadline
  • Member States to ensure that people with metastatic breast cancer have access to, and are treated in, an SBU and that their ongoing needs for care and psychosocial services are co-ordinated and supported by the SBU, as per EU guidelines
  • The European Commission Initiative on Breast Cancer (ECIBC) project to deliver an accreditation protocol for breast cancer services by 2016; this protocol must ensure that mammography screening programmes and SBUs meet the requirements of the current EU guidelines and of the updated version of the EU guidelines, to be undertaken by the ECIBC in 2015

To read the Declaration, in all EU languages, click here.

To read the 2006 Resolution click here.


EUROPA DONNA – The European Breast Cancer Coalition – is an independent, non-profit organisation whose members are affiliated groups from countries throughout Europe. EUROPA DONNA works to raise public awareness of breast cancer and to mobilise the support of European women in pressing for improved breast cancer education, appropriate screening, optimal treatment and care and increased funding for research. Member countries currently number 47.

Contact information:
EUROPA DONNA – The European Breast Cancer Coalition
Piazza Amendola, 3
20149 Milan, Italy
Tel: +39 02 3659 2280
Fax: +39 02 3659 2284
Email: info@europadonna.org
Website: www.europadonna.org                                                                         

The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of EUROPA DONNA.