European Union

The Democracy Deficit in the EU

In May, the European Commission summarily rejected the largest democratic initiative in European Union history—a pro-life petition called “One of Us.” The decision left many wondering: Is participatory democracy dead in the European Union?

Self-governance is essential to any democratic regime, but that’s merely an inconvenient truth to the bureaucrats in Brussels. The European Union continues to wrestle with criticism of its ever-deepening democracy deficit — the failure of the EU system to involve citizens in the decision-making process.

Continue reading at the National Review Online…

Following 1.4 million European personhood signatures, European Union votes down abortion as a “human right”

BRUSSELS—The European Parliament voted down a report defining abortion as a “human right” today, in accordance with the popular groundswell of pro-life sentiment in Europe. The vote comes after the “One of Us” campaign, endorsed by Personhood Education and the Vatican, announced it has collected more than 1,400,000 signatures within the European Union to recognize the personhood of unborn children.

The draft report considered by the European Parliament would have elevated the right to abortion above the right to life, restricted the conscience rights and religious freedom of health care workers, and demanded public funding for abortion and other forms of embryonic destruction. The assembly defeated the report in a 351 to 319 vote, sending it back to committee.

Currently, international law recognizes no “right to abortion.” Even if adopted, legal scholars question whether the report could have held any binding legal effect over member states, since the European Union only possesses the authority conferred to it by member states.

“Representatives at the European Parliament wisely listened to the pro-life will of the people,” said Josh Craddock, Personhood Education’s United Nations liaison. “More than one million voices have called for the EU to recognize personhood for unborn children. It’s time for the radical ‘experts’ in Brussels who drafted this report to abandon their delusional social agenda.”

The “One of Us” initiative is only the second European Citizens’ Initiative in history to reach the petition requirements established by the Commission. If passed, it will ban EU financing of abortion and other embryonic destruction.

Craddock continued: “Killing an innocent human being can never be considered a fundamental ‘human right.’ Life is the ultimate human right, without which no other rights can exist.”

Vatican Launches Personhood Petition in Europe

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Rome—The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Laity is launching a continental personhood petition that would recognize the dignity of human life from the moment of conception. Pro-life organizations from twenty-one European Union states will be represented in the petition organization committee.

To bring the issue before the EU, volunteers must collect 1 million signatures, but both the Pontifical Council for the Laity and Personhood USA believe that this presents an unprecedented opportunity to make a significant pro-life statement by gathering several million more.

At the Global Pro-Life Unity Summit sponsored by Personhood USA, Human Life International, and LifeSiteNews.com, delegations from Romania, Portugal, Poland, Ireland, and Hungary shared their desire to pursue a European personhood initiative and to apply the initiative methodology utilized in the United States. The Vatican’s European personhood petition shares the spirit of the Lisbon Declaration released by organizations at the summit.

Personhood USA, which helped pioneer the citizen-led ballot initiative methodology in states across America, is excited to announce that it is fully committed to assisting its pro-personhood European allies with the new Vatican-backed pro-life initiative.

The personhood movement mirrors Pope John Paul II’s statements on the dignity of the human person in his groundbreaking encyclical “Evangelium Vitae,” as well as conforming to the teachings on life in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which states: “From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person — among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life” (Catholic Catechism, 2270).

Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D., Legal Analyst for Personhood USA, told LifeSiteNews.com, “Petitions are great ways to identify, educate, and activate pro-lifers, especially if the petition process is enlisted in support of solid principles with a solid grass roots strategy behind it.”

The Vatican’s Pontifical Council is calling this petition a “significant opportunity to send a wake-up call to the people of Europe.” Perhaps this is the counter-cultural movement that will revitalize life on the European continent!

If you live in the European Union, here’s more information about how you can sign the petition.