On Monday, the calculation of the individual supports given to the European Citizen Initiative One of Us will be closed. This number will be greater than 1,885,000, which makes this pro-life initiative the first and the largest success. Twenty countries have reached the minimum threshold of signatures required by the European Commission, evidencing that the will to defend the human embryo is deeply rooted within the populations of Europe.
The purpose of the Initiative One of Us is to reaffirm that the human embryo is “One of Us”, that he shares our humanity. “One of Us” asks the EU to end the financing of activities which destroys the human embryos. More precisely, the initiative demands of the EU that :
“No budget allocation will be made for the funding of activities that destroys human embryos, or that presumes their destruction”, as in particular for “research activities that destroy human embryos, including those aimed at obtaining stem cells, and research involving the use of human embryonic stem cells in subsequent steps to obtain them” and for “abortion, directly or indirectly, through the funding of organisations that encourage or promote abortion.”
A ban on such funding will greatly contribute to consistency of the EU legislation, in particular since the European Court of Justice’s judgment in the case of Brüstle v. Greenpeace affirming that the human embryo is protected under EU law, as well as because abortion is not a EU competence and is not a human right.
An unprecedented number of groups from civil society have collaborated in each country and across Europe to build an effective network of advocates for the value of human life, and to bring up this message to the European political level. For a long time, the biotech industries and the Malthusian lobbies (such as IPPF) had had a monopolistic presence at this European political level. For the first time, those utilitarian forces are challenged by a profound humanistic counter-message. Faced with the commodification and annihilation of the human embryo, “One of Us” affirms the dignity and the humanity of human life, from its beginning.
One of Us is also a success thanks to the support and collaboration of the European Christian Churches. It is a source of joy and hope to see the Catholic, Orthodox and Protestants Churches united for the promotion of the common good.
As of now, the national authorities in each member state have three months to certify the final number of valid statements collected. Then, within three months, the European Commission and Parliament will both meet the organisers to discuss in detail the issues raised in the initiative.
Further, the European Commission will adopt a formal response presenting what action it will propose in response to our initiative. The Commission is not obliged to propose legislation as a result of the initiative. However, if the Commission decides to put forward a legislative proposal in response to our initiative, this proposal will be submitted through the usual legislative process.
The organizers of the Initiative will now continue, before the European Commission and Parliament, to advocate for the respect of the human being, from the beginning of his/her life.
Grégor Puppinck is president of the committee of the European Citizen Initiative One of Us