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


The adopted resolution establishes a clear limit: this issue is solely a national competency, not a matter to be dealt with by the European Union. The adopted text was an alternative resolution to the highly controversial and radical report presented by Portuguese MEP Edite Estrela.

However, what was a victory for the EU citizens who mobilized in favour of subsidiarity, parental rights, human dignity and freedom of conscience was considered as a huge defeatby the pro-abortion lobby such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).

Albeit the democratic process the rapporteur Mrs Estrela was extremely aggressive towards her fellow MEPs after the adoption of the alternative resolution. She accused all those who did not support her ideas of being “hypocrites and obscurantists”.

Having regard to Mrs Estrela’s behavior it is hence not so surprising that the European Parliaments’ Socialist and Democrats group (S&D) now tries to push through Mrs Estrelas’ agenda, which is strongly supported by the commercial pro-abortion lobby represented by IPPF, Amnesty internationalMarie Stopes InternationalILGA Europethe European Humanist Federation, the Center for Reproductive Rights and over 30 other NGOs.

On 16 January the plenary agenda of the EP includes a Commission statement on “Non-discrimination in the framework of sexual and reproductive health and rights”, i.e. a position on the behalf of the European Commission. Seemingly, the S&D group tries to achieve a new resolution by requesting the use of a procedure foreseen by Rule 110 of the EP Rules. Indeed, Rule 110 "Statements by the Commission, Council and European Council" states that "Members of the Commission, the Council and the European Council may at any time ask the President of Parliament for permission to make a statement." A resolution might be added at a later stage: "When placing a statement with debate on its agenda, Parliament shall decide whether or not to wind up the debate with a resolution."
In other terms, the S&D group does not support the democratic procedure of the EU, nor does it respect the principle of subsidiarity on the matter of “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” although it was clearly confirmed by the plenary on 10 December last.
We are concerned that the proceedings of the S&D group will trigger deep distrust for the democratic procedure of the EU. It will monitor the evolution of this issue closely and inform NGOs and citizens across the EU about the doings of the European Parliament on this matter.

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