Friday, January 31, 2014

Council of Europe concerned about the proposed legislation on euthanasia for minors in Belgium. What will the Governmental Christian Democratic Parties do?

Next week, Belgian House of Representatives (lower house) will vote on the euthanasia of young children. The bill which has already been supported in the Senate, allows to extend mercy-killing to children found to be terminally-ill. “This ‘symbolic dossier’ which has not been negotiated by the ruling coalition seems to be pushed through at a tremendous pace. 

A great responsibility rests on the shoulders of the governmental Christian Democrat parties, which were surpassed by their governing partners in this issue of life and death”, Kris Vleugels, the chair of C'axent, the Belgian movement for more Christian values in politics and former vice-President of the ECPM, was quoted as saying. According to him, long term social commitment is rooted in deep moral convictions, while the contemporary culture is self-centred and indifferent to the principles of human dignity.' Kris Vleugels is also worried that the Belgian case might create a precedent that will be pushed in several other EU member states. 

His concerns were shared by a written declaration by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) which stated that this vote in the Belgian Senate concerning euthanasia for children "betrays some of the most vulnerable children in Belgium by accepting that their lives may not longer have any inherent value or worth and that they should die; mistakenly assumes that children are able to give appropriate informed consent to euthanasia and that they can understand the grave meaning and complex consequences associated with such a decision and that it promotes the unacceptable belief that a life can be unworthy of life which challenges the very basis of civilised society."

The key question is: What will the Govermental Christian Democratic Party do? How will they value the protection of life? How will they value the concerns expressed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe? With the upcoming elections in Belgium I believe it is of utmost importance for them to focus on the basic Christian Democratic values instead of betraying them during the last months within this Government. Therefore they should do their utmost to block this dangerous legislative proposal and eventually ask more research by experts on this issue. This issue even had never been part of the Governmental Coalition agreement!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Controversial “Lunacek-report” discussed and voted in the European Parliament next week

We want to have Human Rights for All, Not Special Rights for One

Shortly after the Estrela report was defeated, a new initiative has been introduced, the “Lunacek Report” officially known as “EU Roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity” (2013/2183). Adopted by the European Parliament Committee for Civil Liberties (LIBE), the European Parliament will vote on this report next week on 4 February.

I agree when the Report asserts that LGBTI persons should have the same human rights as everyone else. This is an assertion that can be fully supported. The very purpose of Human Rights, the European Convention and other international human rights documents is to grant a minimum level of protection of the integrity of every person because everyone has equal worth and dignity.

However, the Lunacek Report turns this fundamental equality upside down by claiming that specific LGBTI rights should now be considered as human rights. By “Queering fundamental rights”, the EU Parliament creates a new fundamental rights strategy by according special rights and privileges to a group of citizens because of their individual and sexual behavior. By this report, the European Parliament intends to mainstream homosexuality as a new global societal norm and public policies in the EU. This disrespects the principle that human rights should be fully and equally enjoyed by all citizens. Besides it exceeds EU competences and also seeking to impose an obligation to legally recognized same-sex marriages on all Member States.

What can we do?

Friday, January 10, 2014

No Respect for Democratic Decision-making in Europe and the principle of Subsidiarity: Estrela is back!

Despite the adoption of a resolution on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights on 10 December 2013 by the European Parliament (EP), there is currently a new attempt to push through what has become known as the “Estrela Agenda”: abortion on demand, restriction of freedom of conscience, compulsory sex education at primary and secondary school etc.

Source: Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe