Thursday, June 21, 2018

New Report in PACE Asks for better Protection of Children and Families

Next week, an important new report is expected to be voted at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) with the title "Striking a balance between the best interest of the child and the need to keep families together". Rapporteur for this report is MP Valeriu Ghiletchi from Moldova, Board Member of ECPM. The confiscation of the children of Marius and Ruth Bodnariu in Norway, a move that caused outrage in Romania and provoked a reaction in many countries, showed the need of an initiative on this issue in the Council of Europe. This report asks Member States to uphold the right of children to be protected from all types of violence. At the same time, it asks from Members to protect the right of families to stay together and to refrain from removing children from parents against their will except in cases in which this is absolutely necessary. It was unanimously approved in the meeting of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development of PACE on the 26th of April and is expected to be voted in Plenary in the next PACE session next week.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

“What is man” (Ps 8)

Human Dignity & Christian Social Teaching as basis for Christian Democracy

In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the values of dignity and equality are considered to be the basis for Human Rights. "Human dignity" is also mentioned in many political speeches by both left as right-wing politicians. But what is actually the definition of Human Dignity? Generally "human dignity" is more and more defined as "being human". But is this correct to put the human being itself as a standard? Is this really the correct meaning for human dignity? Further we will investigate how the issue of dignity has evolved in  history and how the core value of human dignity played a crucial role in the development of Christian Democracy and how dignity is related to liberalism. Moreover, we will try to answer the question how Christian values influenced the definition of Human Dignity and how did this influence the development of economy and capitalism in Europe?

Inspired by the question David asked to God in Psalm 8: "What is man that you are mindful of them, human beings that You care for them?" I try to find an answer by exploring the final and related question: What is Human Dignity? 

Read here the article written by Leo vanDoesburg. Edited by Auke Minnema

Thursday, March 29, 2018

40 Members of the European Parliament Ask the President of Romania to Proceed to the Organization of the Referendum on Marriage

40 Members of the European Parliament sent a letter to Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, to the President of the Chamber of Deputies Liviu Dragnea, and to the President of the Senate Calin Popescu Tariceanu. They asked them to respect the sovereignty of their own people and to organize without delay the referendum on the definition of marriage that was requested by 3 million Romanian citizens. The referendum is currently being postponed by more and more procedural delays.

Thursday, October 19, 2017


Biased Amnesty International Report revealed

Today, we celebrate the 11th EU Anti-Trafficking dayHuman trafficking is a prevalent practice globally, with instances of exploitation and human rights violations being reported in many nations each year. There are an estimated 21 million people in forced or coerced human trafficking worldwide according to the International Labour Organization Estimate on Forced Labour, which was published in 2012. 

Moreover, according to the International Organization on Migration, 70% of trafficked victims are led to prostitution. One would expect, that this correlation between trafficking and prostitution, would lead national governments and non-government organizations to join efforts in putting barriers to prostitution. On the contrary, Germany and the Netherlands decriminalized prostitution and Amnesty International published a controversial report that supports the view that the decriminalization of prostitution can help in protecting vulnerable people involved in this industry. Read here an analysis of the prostitution policies written by my colleague, Lefteris Kaloterakis.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Fundamental Freedoms in jeopardy in Spain

On Tuesday 19 September, the Spanish Congress will vote on a controversial new LGBTI Non-Discrimination and Equality. Although I am against discrimination, this Bill goes so far that fundamental freedoms as the freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief are in serious jeopardy.  The European Dignity Watch published an  excellent and detailed article that I gladly (with permission of the author Roxana Stanciu) like to share.  The EDW is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation based in Brussels and is active in the protection of human dignity and family.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Brexit: Will the United Kingdom be able to keep it's access to the single market and exit the EU?

About Brexit and EU Strategies

 There are currently a lot of discussions around the topic of Brexit. These debates revolve around what the Treaties stipulate as well as the expected consequences of the Brexit. It is argued by the British government that a compromise on Britain's future access to the single market can be found restricting at the same time the influx of immigrants coming from EU countries citing the agreement that is currently in place with Liechtenstein. 

I would like to share an analysis made by my colleague Lefteris Kaloterakis where we try to answer most of the frequently asked questions. According to Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the current negotiations must be concluded within 2 years (the process officially began on the 29th of March). Of course the European Council (by unanimous vote) can negotiate or prolong the procedure, but the question is if the United Kingdom really has a lot of negotiation space in order to have access to the European single market and to exit the EU. In this article we will also compare the future position of the United Kingdom with other countries as Liechenstein, Norway and Switzerland that have agreements with the EU, have access to the single market without being part of the EU. Furthermore, we will discuss also the Brexit in the light of the proposed strategies for the European Union. See the article  below

Dutch national tv campaign: "Boys and Girls are equal but not the same. Do you let your boy be enough boy?"

In the Netherlands, a new campaign organized by an initiative from the communications and media industry that has been involved in developing awareness campaigns for 40 years and is called SIRE, focuses on the fact that although boys and girls are equal, they are not the same. SIRE is not a governmental organization (as I thought before), but is recognized as the national organization focused on societal issues and has a lot of impact as it broadcast on the national tv channels. The title of the campaign is: "Do you let your boy be enough boy?"