Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-02-10-Speech-2-038"

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"Mr President, I would like to begin by complimenting Mr Bowis on the professionalism, determination and timeliness with which he concluded the drafting of this important report. I also congratulate the rapporteur on his immense efforts in negotiations with the Council to reach an agreement at first reading. I believe, in fact, that it is of the utmost importance that the Centre is operational as soon as possible in order to guarantee the health monitoring and the rapid alert system which must be provided by the Union in order adequately to tackle the challenges brought about by its imminent enlargement and by a globalised world which is increasingly unprotected against the spread of diseases still unknown to us: SARS in 2003 and the very recent bird flu are specific examples. I therefore consider that 1 January 2005 has to be the ultimate deadline for the launch of this Centre. Another point that I would like to stress is the initial and refresher training for all health personnel in the Member States of the Union, and the Centre should be responsible for this. Ready for the entrance of ten new countries, the Union should aim to provide all health systems with the instruments, means and knowledge to create an effective synergy between all Member States and, in that way, to guarantee the coherence of the Union’s action proposed by the Centre. I will conclude by mentioning that the ability to respond adequately to an international health threat depends, to a large extent, on pre-emptively adopting preparatory plans for rapid action, coordinated at European level. The Centre should provide this essential service."@en1

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