One of Us: the European Commission blocks ECI

Publié le : 30 May 2014

 Whereas the European Citizens’ Initiative, One of us, satisfied all of the conditions required by the Treaty of Lisbon, on the last day of its term of office, the Barroso Commission was accused of having illegitimately used a “veto”, refusing to authorise the group’s demands. 

The European Citizens’ Initiative, launched in 2012 and supported in France by the Fondation Jérôme Lejeune and Alliance Vita, is asking European bodies “to ban and put a stop to financing activities involving the destruction of human embryos, particularly in the areas of research, development aid and public health”. This request is based on a ruling by the European Court of Justice which, in 2011, banned patents “based on research involving the destruction of embryos”. As far as the group is concerned, “it is not a case of hampering research but asking that it be conducted in accordance with processes to respect human dignity”.

In response, the Commission deems that “the evaluation, subsidising and financing of proposed research projects within the EU involving the use of human embryo stem cells are strictly regulated” and that there is no point in discussing it further.

The One of us citizens’ committee views this decision as “hypocritical and scornful”, because the Commission is responding in the light of its demands, failing to understand the aim of the exercise and delighting in its policy. As far as Tobbias Teuscher, secretary of the European Parliament Intergroup on Family, is concerned, there is no doubt that the “Commission has taken a political decision”. It is a double blow to democracy in that MEPs are unable to comment on this demand (when, according to treaties, they should be able to do so) and European citizens are seeing their petition being cast to one side.

The citizens’ committee is considering appealing to the Luxembourg Court, “which has recognised the respect that should be shown to human life right from conception”. 

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