Thursday, March 23, 2017

We do not want a Down Free Society but a Down Friendly Society


On the 21st of March, we celebrated the World Down Syndrome Day at the European Parliament. The activities to honour this day started last week, when the Brussels office of ECPM took part in the Socks' Battle that was organized to draw attention to the rights of people, and especially children with Down syndrome. Yesterday, ECPM-MEP Marek Jurek co-hosted with MEP Miroslav Mikolášik a well - attended conference with the title: "Are we in Europe doing our best for the health of people with trisomy 21?" The Conference was addressed by the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani as well as MEP Pieter Liese. During this conference, I was invited to tell about the NIPT Test that is a serious threath to the future existence of people with Down Syndrome. I also presented a statement we prepared against the use of prenatal testing techniques that target Down syndrome in collaboration with the World Youth Alliance and based on the petition of the LeJeun Foundation.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe endorses a PACE report on the Oversexualization of Children

A few days ago, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE) (which is the statutory decision making body of the CoE) endorsed a report of its Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) on the oversexualisation of children. It also encouraged its Member States to take concrete steps in protecting children. The rapporteur for this report was ECPM Member Valeriu Ghiletchi (MP, Moldova). His report highlighted the negative consequences of the oversexualisation and objectification of children by the media, marketing campaigns as well as television programmes. Additionally, the recommendations submitted to the Committee of Ministers called for the inclusion of the issue of the oversexualisation of children in their "Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child" (2016-2021). Moreover, it invites the relevant Council of Europe Committees to take more actionWe strongly welcome the endorsement of this report from the Council of Ministers. Now, their recommendations should be actively implemented.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Personal New Year's Message

"For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" Jeremiah 29:11

Dear friends,

Another year has passed. Usually, during the last days of every year, most people contemplate what happened in the past year and try to envision and plan their next steps. Last year, in my New Year's message, I wrote that "2015 was a year filled with fear and uncertainty." When I composed last year's message, it was a few weeks after Brussels was locked down because of fears of a terrorist attack. Unfortunately, this became a reality when a double bomb attack took place Brussels on the 22nd of March, followed by other terrorist attacks in Nice and more recently in Berlin. Moreover, the humanitarian tragedies that came as a result of conflicts around the world, especially in the Middle East, were also prevalent this year and they are expected to continue to shock and cause us distress in 2017. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Even after different manipulative efforts, the Parliamentary Assembly says a clear NO to surrogacy

On Tuesday the 11th of October, the last debates and votes on a controversial recommendation on surrogacy took place in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). This recommendation was based on a rejected resolution that asked for a legal framework for the so-called “not-for profit surrogacy”. Interestingly, the first report was rejected in its entirety by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development (SOC) of PACE last March, forcing the rapporteur to draft another report. However, the resolution of the new report was also rejected in a Committee meeting last September. Strangely enough, a recommendation that was based on the rejected resolution was adopted. This was a mistaken decision. This became evident by the fact that before the plenary debate, the SOC voted with a large majority two amendments (24 against 16 for the first amendment and 27 against 16 for the second) to this controversial recommendation that ask for a complete European ban on surrogacy. The rejections of both the first report as well as the resolution of the second report and the clear amendments on the controversial recommendation clearly showed what the majority of the SOC does NOT want: to create a legal framework on surrogacy! The SOC finally asked to have a European ban on surrogacy! This article tells about what has happened in order to show the manipulative tactics that have been used to try to get a very controversial report being passed. Fortunately, they have not succeeded

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

THE PRO-ABORTION LOBBY SHOWS ITS TRUE FACE But... what should be our answer?

The issue of abortion came again in the forefront recently. In the Polish Parliament, there was a debate on a Bill for a stricter ban on abortion. Of course, the pro-abortionists used this opportunity to criticize this effort and to frame the people who want to protect the life of the unborn. Interestingly, they are also openly proclaiming that abortion is an EU competence neglecting the legal limitations of the EU. One week before, another meeting was organized in the European Parliament by the S&D Group where they discussed about what to do with doctors or midwifes who can not perform abortions because of their conscience. The freedom to choose does not seem to be valid for doctors with another worldview. 

That's why they are pushing them to act against their conscience. The pro-abortionists or the so-called, "freedom to choose" movement showed its real face going against freedom and against democratic restraints. They believe that other opinions or views should be restrained legally and people should be pushed to act against their conscience even if other solutions are possible. Why? Because the pro-abortionists do not like to have space for people with another worldview. Therefore I would propose them to change the latest logo of the pro-abortionists movements with the title "All of Us" into "All for us" which probably would fit much better with their aims. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

10th EU Anti Trafficking Day. A Call for Action

The 18th of October is the 10th EU Anti Trafficking day. This day is an opportunity to reflect on our anti-trafficking policies and a call for more targeted action. Last Tuesday, as General Secretary of the European Parliament Working Group on Human Dignity, I was involved in organizing an event on Human Dignity with the title "Combating Human Trafficking”. It was a very fruitful meeting that showed that there is substantial interest across political groups in the European Parliament on this issue. The event was hosted by MEPs Bastiaan Belder (ECR, Chair of the Steering Committe of the Working Group) and Diane Dodds (NA). Keynote speakers were: Lord Maurice Morrow (Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly) who tabled the latest law on prostitution in Northern Ireland based on criminalizing the client, Maria Vassiliadou, (EU anti-trafficking coordinator) and Frits Rouvoet (Director of Brightfame Foundation) who helps prostitutes in Amsterdam to leave prostitution. Besides, other MEPs of the working group contributed actively to this meeting. All participants agreed that efforts must be stepped up on a national and EU - level in order to stop this modern slavery. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Turkish invasion in Syria is a serious threat for the security in Europe

ECPM MEP Branislav Skripek (ECR) organized a press conference yesterday in the European Parliament that focused on developments in Syria after the Turkish invasion. Speakers besides Mr. Skripek were: Saleh Muslim vice-president from the Kurdish Party in Syria and David Vergili from the European Syriac Union. You can read the full press release here.