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de Brún calls upon EU to lead the way in co-ordinating fight against potential influenza pandemics

13 June, 2006


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today called upon the EU and theEuropean Commission in particular, to take the lead in ensuring that the region is 'as well prepared as can possibly be for future outbreaks of flupandemic'.

Ms de Brún made her calls before addressing the European Parliament insupport of an EU report by Adamous Adamou MEP on 'Pandemic influenza preparedness and response planning in the European Community'.

Speaking from Strasbourg Ms de Brún said:

"Given that communicable diseases do not respect land borders, the European Union should be positioned to lead the way in ensuring that the region is well prepared as possible. Given that there are many misconceptions surrounding avian influenza, it is essential that the public are given clear and precise information as often as possible.

"The recent outbreaks of bird flu in South East Asia and into the European Union is a reminder of how such a disease can spread and how potentially susceptible we are to any possible future outbreaks of flu pandemic.It is on this basis that I am calling upon the European Commission take the lead in co-ordinating the response to avian bird flu in conjunction with EU Member States national governments.

"Co-operation between Member States is also essential - particularly on the island of Ireland, where a joined up strategy is required to ensure that there is no duplication or overlapping of resources." ENDS

Full Text of Speech (Check against Delivery)

I want to welcome Adamos Adamou's report regarding European Union preparedness for pandemic flu.

Communicable diseases, as we know, do not respect land borders and the European Union can lead the way in ensuring that the region is well prepared as possible. Given that there are many misconceptions surrounding avian influenza, it is essential that the public are given clear and precise information as often as possible.

Níl meas ag galair theagmhálacha ar theorainneacha críche, mar atá a fhios againn, agus tá gá le straitéis phan-Eorpach má táimid le dul i ngleic le ráigeanna fud fad an AE agus smacht a fháil orthu. De thairbhe go bhfuil chuid mhór míthuisceana ann faoi fhliú éanúil, tá sé riachtanach go dtugtar eolas beacht soiléir don phobal a mhinice is féidir.

Fáiltím roimh dhearbhú na tuarascála gur chóir don Choimisiún Eorpach dul i gceannas ar an fhreagairt maidir le fliú éanúil a chomhordú i gcomhair le rialtais náisiúnta Bhallstáit an AE. Tá gá le comhoibriú idir Ballstáit chomh maith - go háirithe ar oileán na hÉireann, áit a bhfuil straitéis nasctha riachtanach lena chinntiú nach mbíonn dúbailt acmhainní ann ná nach mbíonn siad ag teacht salach ar a chéile.

I welcome the reports assertion that the European Commission should take the lead in co-ordinating the response to avian bird flu in conjunction with EU Member States national governments. Co-operation between Member States is also essential - particularly on the island of Ireland, where a joined up strategy is required to ensure that there is no duplication or overlapping of resources.

Early detection and the Early Warning and Response system (EWRS) are vital components of the EU strategy to deal with flu pandemic. The faster our response times, the more readily we can put in place strategies to isolate and contain potential outbreaks.

I join my colleague in stressing the importance of adequate financial and technical support to developing countries, particularly the least developed and in urging the commission to work for a more coherent international framework following the Beijing pledging conference.

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