29th May 2014
EU Commission attitude “Dismissive and Undemocratic”
Petition was signed by almost 2 million people from 20 Member States
The Pro Life Campaign today strongly criticised the European Commission over its decision not to take any legislative action to prevent EU funding of destructive research on living human embryos. The Commission yesterday formally rejected the ‘One of Us’ petition which was signed by almost 2 million people from 20 EU Member States calling for legislation to be enacted to ensure no EU funds are spent on destructive embryonic research. The almost 2 million names on the ‘One of Us’ petition were collected in accordance with the requirements of the European Citizens Initiative (ECI) which following the Lisbon Treaty is the formal way for people in EU Member States to petition the European Commission recommending legal changes. The ‘One of Us’ petition represents the most successful mobilisation of citizens to date since the ECI was established, having far exceeded the requisite one million signatures needed to force the Commission to consider a proposal.
Responding to the news that the European Commission has rejected the ‘One of Us’ petition, Cora Sherlock, Deputy Chairperson of the Pro Life Campaign said:
“The dismissive undemocratic attitude of the European Commission towards the ‘One of Us’ petition is most disappointing. Two million people from 20 Member States signed the petition in the hope that the European Commission would give it serious consideration and show that the European Citizens Initiative (ECI) was a meaningful and worthwhile way to engage with the Commission.
“It is wholly unacceptable the manner in which European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and her colleagues have defended destructive embryonic research and disregarded the ethical arguments put forward in the petition. It completely undermines the credibility of the Commission to behave in this way.
“There is no justification for the Commission’s refusal to commit to ending funding of destructive embryonic research. All of the major medical breakthroughs in recent years have been in the area of ethically-sound research yet much of the hype has centred around embryonic stem cell research which destroys human life and has resulted in no significant medical or scientific advances.”
“The recent Commission hearings considering the ‘One of Us’ petition was an opportunity to challenge the false perception that pro-life groups are opposed to stem cell research. Nothing could be further from the truth. Pro-life groups are among the strongest advocates of stem cell research. What we oppose is research that destroys human life at its earliest stages. Regrettably once again the European Commission has shown by its actions that it cannot be relied upon to defend the most basic of all human rights, the right to life.”