Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Personal message: 2013 a Year of Changes

There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. (..), always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.(..). But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone. You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance” (2 Timothy 3: 1-10)

The year 2013 is almost finished. The year is characterized by changes. One of the most important changes I saw this year was a growing public awareness of the general public concerning the importance of protecting basic Christian-Democratic values like human dignity (protecting life from conception to natural death), family (based on a marriage as a union between a man and a woman), freedom (of expression, religion and conscience) and democracy (respecting not only the democratic rules but also the spirit of democracy like open debates, respecting diversity and different world-views).  

Monday, December 23, 2013

Discussions about the need for a new Christian Paradigm at the ECPM Conference: "The Impact of Christian Thinking: Past, Present and Future"

Europe is still seen as having a Christian heritage that weights heavy on its citizen’s way of thinking and acting. In politics, some decades ago, we could hear great politicians speaking out from their Christian beliefs without fear of being politically incorrect. Their actions were inspired by their faith. They believed that the Christian values were beneficial in the public life not only in private. 

However, in the 21st century the deafening voice is that the Christian values are to be followed in the private life. This ubiquitous view destroys the foundation that created the European Union in the first place and on the 3rd of December ECPM organized a conference in which this issue was approached, entitled “The impact of Christian thinking on European project: Past, Present and Future”. Main aim is to reflect to the origins of the European project and how Christian faith and values played a role at the European founding fathers. In the afternoon session we build further on these examples we ask ourselves if we need a new Christian paradigm it's current politics in Europe. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Private Papal Audience to celebrate the Dignitatis Humanae Institute's Institute.

On December 8th I was invited to the fifth aniversary of the Foundation of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute (DHI). The DHI has as main aim to promote the Universal Declaration of Human Dignity. In this declaration the fact that we are created in the image and likeness of God, therefore life is sacred and should be protected from conception to natural death. The fifth anniversary was marked by a private audience with His Holiness Pope Francisc. Please find here the press release of the DHI

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Estrela report rejected: Massive popular protest wins over well-funded lobby groups at the European Parliament

After a months-long intense debate about the ‘Report on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights’ (also called the Estrela report), a symbolic fight has been won today for democracy, for children, and for life. A majority of the European Parliament have just rejected the highly controversial report (with 334 votes in favour, 327 against and 35 abstentions). This is a historic setback for the abortion lobby and all their related stakeholders, as they have well-oiled machineries, huge EU-funded budgets and, therefore, great power of impact in political agenda setting. (Source European Dignity Watch)

Estrela Report back in the Parliament:How Interests of International Lobbyists, Ideological Agendas become more important than Democracy, Human Rights and Freedom

On October 22, the majority of the European Parliament voted to refer back the controversial Report on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (also called the Estrela report) back to the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM Committee).

The reason behind the referral was that the text as presented at that time was considered to be unacceptable and revision was recommended in order to seek consensus among political groups. Surprisingly, however, the Estrela report is back again on the agenda of the plenary session in the European Parliament, with just some minor changes.

Not only were the serious concerns expressed by the democratic majority of the Parliament rejected by the supporters of the Report, but the Chair of the FEMM Committee breached the Rules of Procedures to avoid any amendments being tabled in the Committee and before the plenary vote.
Who is ruling in Europe? The ideological agenda of certain Pro-Choice movements, supported by the interests of international lobby organizations; or the supporters of the protection of Human Rights and Dignity, Freedom and Democracy (trying to protect doctors, medical staff, hospitals, parents and children)?
The vote that will take place in the European Parliament today is therefore most of all a test of how strong or weak democracy is in the decision-making process within the European Parliament.  Please find here an analysis

Monday, December 2, 2013

Ukraine: ECPM deeply concerned over the exessive use of force against the demonstrators in Kiev

The European Christian Political Movement (ECPM) is deeply concerned over the recent developments in Kiev, condemns what clearly seems to be the excessive use of force against the peaceful demonstration and calls on the Ukrainian Government to respect the will, human dignity and fundamental rights of the Ukrainian people.

"Many Ukrainians, who took to streets to protest against the reversal of President Viktor Yanukovych on the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, showed their strong support for their country's closer relations with the European Union. It is the right of people everywhere to express their views in a democratic way. Therefore, the Ukrainian government should refrain from violence and use of force and resolve political differences in accordance with the constitutional and democratic norms", George Rukhadze, the ECPM Vice-President said.

The European Christian Political Movement also condemns the pressure from Moscow on the Ukrainian government which prevented Kiev from signing the Association Agreement and believes that the Ukraine's future should be decided by the Ukrainian government in accordance with the will of their people and no other country has a right to veto their decisions.

The ECPM has always supported Ukraine's European choice by closely working with the CDU Ukraine and other civil organizations to promote Christian values, democracy and political pluralism in the country and will continue to do so in the future.

Croatia: Overwhelming majority votes for constitutional recognition of natural marriage

On December 1, the people of Croatia voted in favour of the natural marriage. The outcome of the referendum in Croatia is clear: 65.8% of voters chose to preserve marriage as a union of a woman and a man, by asking their government to recognize this as such in the Croatian constitution, while 33,5% voted against. The referendum was called for by the Croatian Citizen initiative "In the Name of the Family" by collecting more than 700,000 signatures.

On the 27th of November, the European Christian Political Foundation (ECPF) co-hosted a roundtable on this referendum in the Croatian Parliament. Maria Hildingsson (FAFCE) and Heiner Studer (President EVP, former MP Switzerland) addressed Croatian MP’s with their views on marriage (Hildingsson) and referenda (Studer).

We are pleased with the choice of the majority of Croatian citizens and urges the Croatian government to facilitate this clear wish of the population as soon as possible. Please find below the press release of European Dignity Watch with more information about the referendum