This interest, first on a scientific and institutional level, is well-timed. Indeed, Down Syndrome, and all other genetic intellectual disabilities, are left out of public healthcare and therapeutic research programmes; not rare enough to be included in the rare diseases programmes, but not common enough to be inscribed in the political agenda. This statement is true on both national and European levels.
Nevertheless, research into therapeutic treatments (once thought to not be possible) has recently experienced advances that demand awareness and a response from political authorities. The matter is made all the more acute because a wellknown ethical issue emphasises what is at stake on both a scientific and human level : for years now, certain European countries have been favouring a policy of prenatal detection, which leads to the elimination of children with Down syndrome before birth.
On a scientific level, if Europe shows a strong political will to support accelerating research, through the development of a strategy, an organisational structure, and a budget, it can play a determining role in hastening the development of treatments to improve the lives of those living with Down syndrome. That is the objective of the events of March 10th.
Upon invitation of the European Slovak deputy, Dr. Miroslav Mikolasik, the JEROME LEJEUNE FOUNDATION and the WORLD YOUTH ALLIANCE have organised several events this Tuesday 3rd March.Participants will include the European Commissioner for Research Mr. Carlos MOEDAS and several parliamentarians, among whom the vice-president of ITRE, the committee on research, Mrs. Patrizia TOIA (Italy), and the vice-president of the disability intergroup Mrs. Rosa ESTARAS FERRAGUT (Spain).THAT EXIST CONCERNING DOWN SYNDROME