Sunday, April 17, 2011

Will the EU define marriage? Enforced EU-wide recognition of same-sex marriage? Your action is needed!

The European Christian Political Foundation (www.ecpf.info) wants to draw your attention to a report done by European Dignity Watch
(www.europeandignitywatch.org) on a new proposal from the European Commission regarding the automatic recognition of civil status documents that could lead to a situation in which the EU member states will no longer define marriage. Instead, member states could be forced to recognize forms of “marriage”, civil partnerships, same-sex adoption and other practices, even if these contradict their national laws and public order.

European Dignity Watch issued an analysis of the Greenpaper, which you find below. The analysis is meant to facilitate answers that can be sent to the European Commission as reaction to the public consultation (Green Paper). The ECPM asks all decision makers on national and European level to take note of this report and take action in their own political body. If the ideas in this green paper would become EU policy, all action taken on the national level to safeguard the definition of marriage on the national level will become pointless. However, your action can make a big difference since this proposal is now in its first stage of the political process. The report of European Dignity Watch will help you to take action. We need to react to the call for public consultation by the Commission, pointing out the severe consequences of an automatic mutual recognition of civil status documents on family policy and the infringement of the principle of subsidiarity.

This EDW report (and especially their analysis in six languages) can help you to convince people to protect subsidiarity and gives you analytical and very practical advice in how to react and to whom precisely in the European Commission. European Dignity Watch report on the recognition of civil status documents: The European Commission is pushing for “automatic mutual recognition” of public documents in all EU Member States. Among them are marriage and adoption documents. Automatic recognition, as practical as it may seem at first a glance, entails a severe danger: that of a forced recognition of civil unions, same-sex marriages and corresponding adoption rights by all Member States – even if this goes against their national laws and public order.

A public consultation (Green Paper) on the topic has been opened by the Commission. Every NGO, group or individual can participate! Herewith, we provide you with all the necessary information you may need to send your opinion to the Commission. A solid analysis of the questions asked by the Commission will help you to frame your answer. All information is available in six languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish and German. Much is at stake! We urge you to help advocate for freedom and the principle of subsidiarity! This is how you can get involved:

  1. Write your answer to the Commission by April 31, 2011, at the latest. Find here all information you need for this.

  2. Use the six language versions of the analysis on our website and spread the word among your network.

  3. Contact politicians, provide them with our information and ask them to get involved.

Abstract
The purpose of the Green Paper, issued by the European Commission on December 14, 2010, is to achieve a cross-border harmonization of public and civil status documents in order to “reduce bureaucracy”.

There is no doubt that a reasonable reduction of bureaucracy is desirable within the EU. However, the simplistic audit of the issues involved—as conducted by the Commission in its Green Paper—leads to an even greater issue: that of compelling EU Member States to recognize same-sex civil unions (or same-sex adoption) even when this goes against their national laws and public morality (and despite the fact that Member States are theoretically protected against such coercion by Article 81.3 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). Since family law is a competency of each Member State—and not of the EU—the imposition of a recognition of civil unions and other practises that contradict their domestic public morality would constitute a serious infringement of national sovereignty and a violation of the principle of subsidiarity. This is precisely the danger posed by the idea of “automatic mutual recognition” of public documents, as the European Commission seems to suggest.

What is a Green Paper?
A Green Paper is a broad public consultation on the role of the EU in a certain policy field. Every citizen and organization can contribute their opinion. A Green Paper is an explicit invitation for organizations, public and private entities, and individuals to contribute to the opinion-making process of the European Commission on a specific topic. The contributions are usually taken into account by the European Commission to define further policy strategies in the field concerned. Your contribution is needed Each and every contribution on this public consultation is important. If you are an NGO or a civil society organization, please submit your response to the Commission’s Green Paper in the name of your organization. If you are an individual, please submit your answer in your own name, stating your full name and address. In our analysis of the Green Paper, we have provided suggestions for possible responses to the questions contained in the document.. Find here our propositions to write an answer.

Deadline for responses: 30 April 2011.
Answers need to be sent to: European Commission Directorate-General for Justice Unit A1 - Judicial Cooperation in Civil Matters B-1049 Brussels Fax No: + 32-2/299 64.57

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