Friday, January 29, 2016

Parents have the right to raise their children according to their religious beliefs

A Hearing in the Council of Europe underlines the importance of parental rights in Education

Last Tuesday I had the privilege to participate in a roundtable discussion organised by ECPM and the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) with the title: “The Rights of the Parents and Children belonging to Religious Minorities”. This Hearing was organised on the occasion of the discussion in the Council of Europe of a motion for a resolution on the "Protection of the rights of parents and children belonging to religious minorities". Other participants were MPs Ben-Oni Ardelean, Valeriu Ghilețchi, Jeffrey Donaldson, Titus Corlețean, Ronan Mullen and Grégor Puppinck. Bellow you can find the full text of my contribution. I would like to especially thank Jett Weigand-Timmer for the background information she provided.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Written declaration on "dignity to die" collapsed because of lack of support

"Last week, a written declaration that aimed to focus on the "dignity to die" (which is a term used mostly to promote assisted suicide) considerably failed to get the needed majority at the European Parliament. While they need a majority for this declaration, they only got 95 out of 751 votes. It is encouraging to see that because of a total lack of support, this initiative collapsed. Read more here in the press release of  the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE).

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Battle against Surrogacy continues in the New Year

Possible conflict of interest of the Rapporteur on Surrogacy in the Council of Europe; Majority of the European Parliament condemns the practice of Surrogacy 

This January will be a month of significant developments in the field of Surrogacy centred around the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). The Health and Social Affairs Committee of PACE is currently debating a report on “Human Rights and ethical issues related to surrogacy”

The report was scheduled to be discussed in committee last November. However, the debate was postponed since serious questions were raised by Committee Members about the possible conflict of interests which could involve the Rapporteur, Dr De Sutter, due to her professional activity as head of the Department for Reproductive Medicine at the University Hospital of Ghent. 

This matter will be discussed again in the next meeting of the Health and Social Affairs Committee that will take place during the next PACE Session in Strasbourg (25-29 January). My hope is that the PACE lawmakers will take into account the huge ethical implications of both commercial and non – commercial surrogacy in line with the recently adopted Human Rights report in the European Parliament where all forms of surrogacy is condemned.