Wednesday, October 30, 2013

“An EU Roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity” – a European Parliament report likely to divide the EU

A couple of months ahead of the European Elections, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) of the European Parliament prepares a report that is likely to meet very diverging opinions across the EU as it clearly oversteps the competencies of the EU and thereby tramples on the principle of subsidiarity.
 
Austrian MEP Ulrike Lunacek, Vice President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, is the rapporteur of a report on the EU Roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity”. The title sounds familiar as it recalls the name of a study published by the European Parliament in 2012, with the contribution of the European LGBTI lobby ILGA Europe, called “Towards an EU roadmap for equality on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity”.

(Source: Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe, FAFCE) 
 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Controversial report wants to undermine the "One of Us" Initiative. Urgent action needed!

The European Citizenship Initiative “One of Us” has now reached already 1,3 Mio signatures in Europe and fulfils all criteria to be considered by the European Commission (www.oneofus.eu). 

In a recent attempt to neutralize One of Us before it gets submitted in November, a Report is due to be voted at in the European Parliament next Monday. Below you find some significant quotes from this document presented by the Portuguese socialist MEP Ms. Estrela. 

This report promotes abortion as a fundamental right, attacks the right to conscientious objection and the rights of parents and calls on the European Union to fund abortion in its Foreign and Development Aid Policy. This text wants more abortions and less rights for conscientious objectors and parents, it recommends nothing in relation to the prevention of abortion or support for pregnant women. It is a striking example of old-style feminism and has nothing to do with modern politics in which space for life and all people, including children, must be sought. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Speakers at the Catholic Conference “European Encounters” assaulted by activists

From 11 till 13 October, I participated in the “European Encounters” conference that took place in Brussels. This conference had as main target to equip young Catholic Christians to implement their faith in their daily life and profession. 

On the Friday evening, the opening took place with H.E. Msg. André Joseph Léonard, Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, Father Nicholas Buttet, founder of “Eucharistein” and Christine Boutin, Founder of the Parti Chrétien-Démocrate and Former Minister of Urban Affairs. 

When Christine Boutin started her speech about the Soul of Europe, suddenly a group topless feminist-gay activists with a big rainbow flag ran in front to the members of the panel and wrapped the flag around Ms. Boutin and kissed her on her head and cheeks. Other members of the group sprayed whipped cream on the faces of the Archbishop and on Father Nicholas. 

Fortunately, people came to remove these protesters from the podium. After a break where the mess was cleaned and the panel members could take a breather, Christine Boutin continued her presentation about the basic European values of solidarity and peace.   

Read here my article

Thursday, October 10, 2013

"One of Us" Initiative seriously undermined by an intiative report on Sexual and Reproductive Rights

The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) "One of Us" to protect and respect the dignity and integrity of the human embryo is seriously undermined by the opposition who is working on its counter-offensive by an own initiative report  on sexual and reproductive rights. It has already been adopted by the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality on September 18. Rapporteur Edite Estrela — a member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats group in the European Parliament — argued strongly in favour of legalizing abortion in all European Member States with no consideration for the fundamental rights to life and conscience recognized by the EU. 

This issue should be taken very seriously and we should do our utmost to put this under the attention in media and MEPs. The aim of this own-initiative report is to neutralise the ECI by a "zero sum game" where nobody really wins. If this resolution passes in Plenary, the EU institutions have an alibi to avoid any further action on the ECI. The vote for a resolution is expected to be at 22 October.

The pro-abortion lobby is very clear on this issue and the motion for a resolution will include the following statements:
  • "whereas access to safe abortion is banned, except in very narrow circumstances, in three EU Member States (Ireland, Malta and Poland) and remains widely unavailable, through legal, through the abuse of conscientious objection or overly restrictive interpretations of existing limits;
  • recommends that, as a human rights concern, abortion should be made legal, safe, and accessible for all
  • Underlines that even when legal, abortion is often prevented or delayed by obstacles to the access of appropriate services, such as the widespread use of conscientious objection, medically unnecessary waiting periods or biased counselling; stresses that Member States should regulate and monitor the use of conscientious objection so as to ensure that reproductive health care is guaranteed as an individual’s right, while access to lawful services is ensured and appropriate and affordable referrals systems are in place;
The final report as adopted in the committee will be released on Tuesday 15 October. The vote is to be expected on 22 October in the European Parliament

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

European Court of Human Rights: The Grand Chamber to rule on a right to assisted suicide

STRASBOURG, France — The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has agreed to hear an appeal in a lawsuit filed against the Swiss government after authorities there would not provide a woman who does not suffer from any fatal disease with drugs to commit suicide. An ECHR panel ruled 4-3 in May of this year that Switzerland’s law banning lethal poison in such circumstances violates Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to respect for private and family life) because the court considered the law vague.

“The government has an obligation to protect life, not facilitate death,” said Legal Counsel Paul Coleman. “Claims to personal autonomy do not override national laws designed to protect the weak and vulnerable. We trust the Grand Chamber will support this principle, which is entirely consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights.”

Friday, October 4, 2013

ECPM calls on MEP’s to vote for amendments on an important EP report on Gendercide

On 8 October, the European Parliament will vote on the important report: "Gendercide: the missing women" of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality" by rapporteur: Antigoni Papadopoulou. Gendercide is a global issue of concern everywhere pregnant women, on purpose or under pressure, decide not to give birth to girl foetuses.

 Read here a study of the European Parliament on "Gendercide: Missing Women"

Although the Papadopoulou report has many positive aspects, five important amendments were tabled by Anna Záborská, Christa Klaß, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Gay Mitchell, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Peter van Dalen and 82 other MEP’s. The five amendments give a clearer stance on the ‘human right to conscientious objection’ and one of the amendments explicitly recalls the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, whereby every child, regardless of sex, has the right to appropriate legal protection before as well as after birth.’’

The five amendments are a much needed addition to the Papadopoulou report and therefore ECPM calls on all MEP’s to support these amendments