From European Dignity Watch
It was a real thriller. But the result couldn’t be better for the proponents of the biggest Citizen Initiative of the EU, One of Us. The European Parliament has never before, in its history, seen such a frank, honest and high-level debate about the inconsistencies of the EU regarding the equal protection of every human being from the moment of conception onwards.
What went on behind the scenes?
Two days before the hearing, the Citizens’ Committee received a letter with a draft agenda, which has been changed without the consent of the Citizens’ Committee. As it turned out, Parliament tried to give minimal speaking time to the representatives of ‘One of Us’ while filling the slots with statements of MEPs. Given the controversies that One of Us has caused over the last two years in some circles, certain MEPs were seemingly attempting to lecture One of Us instead of listening, as would be appropriate for such a hearing.
It was particularly shocking to see that the first round of statements provided speaking slots for four MEPs and two Commissioners before even allowing the Citizens’ Committee to present the initiative and its objectives.
As if that were not enough, an MEP who had publicly stated in recent days that his aim in participating in the Public Hearing was to demolish ‘One of Us’ which he tried to dismiss with hate speech as “a bunch of religious extremists” had been granted three speaking slots in the changed programme.
A letter of protest with an emergency request to change the agenda of the hearing was sent in the early hours of this morning to President Martin Schulz and the 4 chairs of the parliamentary committees scheduled to give their opinion at the hearing.
This morning at 8:50 while the room was filled to capacity with 400 people who were eagerly awaiting the hearing, Gregor Puppinck, the representative of the ‘One of Us’ Citizens’ Committee threatened to call off the hearing if Parliament would not withdraw their agenda that was tantamount to forcing a sham hearing, designed to limit the freedom to express what ‘One of Us’ stand for.
Finally, at 9:15, the hearing began 15 minutes late with an agenda changed in order to comply with the requests that had been made by ‘One of Us.’
From that moment onwards, we saw a highly sophisticated debate, the best ever to be held at the European Parliament on the banning of EU funding into any activity that involves or presupposes the destruction of human embryos.