The Committee on Legal Affairs of the European Parliament opposed any European funding for research on embryo by a decision adopted on 5 May 2006 with 16 votes (Poland, Germany, Austria…) against 6 and 3 abstentions1.
Recalling that “Member States should not be forced to indirectly co-finance, by their financial contribution to the budget of the European Union, research activities which are prohibited in their country because of fundamental and essential ethical objections”, the Committee also mentions that “following the Hwang’s affair in South Korea, it is more important than ever to interpret the principle of subsidiarity in a very strict way”.
The following research activities cannot be subject of financing according to the 7th framework-program: Research activity aimed at human cloning for reproductive purposes, to modify the genetic heritage of human beings, to create human embryos solely for the purpose of research or for the purpose of stem cell procurement, and research activity using the cells from such embryos; research activities which destroy human embryos or using human embryonic stem cells.
Researches to be promoted
The Community must give priority to research projects enabling to replace controversial technologies on an ethical level by research on adult stem cells and umbilical stem cells, the resolution of fertility problems without creating supernumerary embryos and genetic trials linked with the therapy.
1. Proposal of Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the 7th framework-programme of the European Community research, technological development and demonstration activities, adopted by the Committee on Legal Affairs on 5 May 2006.