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Αρχική arrow newsitems arrow New PACE President Nicoletti to EF+: Strasburg key of University Network for European Humanism Unity

New PACE President Nicoletti to EF+: Strasburg key of University Network for European Humanism Unity

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Δευτέρα, 22 Ιανουάριος 2018
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Meeting briefly "Eurofora" soon after his Election at the Presidency of CoE's PanEuropea  Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) for the Next 2 Years (2018-2019), Michele Nicoletti, from Italy, (former Chairman of the Socialdemocrat Group), practically Agreed that Strasbourg University may, naturally, be a key for the Desired "Creation of a European Academic Network", able to "Mobilise European Universities around the Values of European Humanism, and teh Defense of Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law", which are at the Heart of the "European Culture", and the "European Civilisation", by placing "Respect for Human Dignity... at the Root of our European Identity", as he has just stressed at his Inaugural Speech in CoE's Plenary, Earlier Toda, (for Previous Nicoletti statements to "Eurofora", See, f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/pacepresidentrow.html, etc).

 

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    - After "a Clear Political Call", made since 2017, for a New, "4th Summit of Heads of State and Government", probably on 2019, to "Ensure that the CoE can be the "Common European Home" of All", while also "Remaining True to the European Convention on Human Rights", "We (CoE) Must Not Cease Openly Denouncing any Violation of Human Rights", but in a way "Able to Combine it with an ever Increasing Unity between our Peoples", Nicoletti urged.


    - "Tirelessly Seeking to Emphasize what Unites us", "we can draw Support from the Cultural and Social Dimension", he proposed.


    - In this regard too, "Respect for Human Rignity forms the Heart ... and lies at the Root of our European Identity", "Typical of European Civilisation", PACE's New President stressed.


      - "The Centrality of Human Rights flows from an understanding of What it Means to be Human".


    - This Includes, "Not Only .. Legal Documents", such as the "ECHR", "Magna Carta", and "the French Declaration of the Rights of the Man and the Citizen", "But Also the Poetry of Dante, the Plays of Shakespeare, the Music of Beethoven, and the Novels of Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy", he underlined.


    - In Fact, "No Wall has been able to Divide European Humanism, which canNot Trive withOut All of these Different Strands", the New PACE's President pointed out, calling, "Today", "to bring to Bloom ... the Pluralist Wealth of this Humanism".


    + CoE, "as Guardian of European Unity", "must Enhance the role of European Culture", by "forming an Alliance with the World of Culture, Schools and Universities", Nicoletti went on to add in a landmark Speech.


     - Indeed, "the University is a Typical European Creation", and "it would be Wonderful .. if the CoE could be Able to Mobilise all European Universities around the Values of this European Humanism", he proposed.     


     - I.e., "Encourage the Creation of a European Academic Network", around "the Defense of Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law", including, f.ex., "the European Social Charter", "the Convention against Corruption", and "each of our Conventions taking the CoE as ... point of Reference", in "a Network of Teachers, Researchers and Students from throughout Europe", "United by its Efforts to Defend and Promote the Values embodied" in those CoE's Legal tools.


    => "These are Issues", where "Academic Networks could ...promote Research, the Exchange of Information and Best Practices, as well as the organisation of Training PathWays", i.e. "to reinforce the Connective Tissue of European Civil Society", President Nicoletti concluded on this Idea.

 

(../..)

 

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    An "Eugenic" loophole Amendment, which might expose to Dangers reminiscent of "3rd Reich's" notorious Genetic Abuses, hidden at the last minute inside an otherwise Good, larger Health policy Package scheduled to be voted on Thursday, was strongly denounced by a coalition of MEPs from various Political Groups and Countries, in a Press Conference held this afternoon at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    Mainly calling to "Select Human Embryos", via "Genetic Counselling" and "pre-implantation" Techniques including "Genetic Tests", in order to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", it might open ways to Dangerous Practices in Future, they denounced in substance.

    But they also made it clear that a much larger Report inside which this Controversial Amendment "No 15" was added in dubious circumstances, officialy destinated to struggle against "Rare Diseases", and drafted by Professor Antonios Trakatellis, was otherwise "an Excellent Report", aiming at a "completely Uncontroversial target" of Health policy on which "all MEPs and Experts are united, believing that Europe should act" to protect People's Health (See "EuroFora"'s earlier News).

    The controversy came at a particularly delicate moment for the EU in relation to Citizens, at the eve of June 2009 EU Elections, and shortly before Ireland re-votes for "Lisbon Treaty"..    

- Denouncing risks of "an Eugenic demand, very similar to what we had during the 3rd Reich in Germany, but now coming from some Scientisists themselves", German ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Dr. Peter Liese stressed that critical MEPs were against "Eugenic" engineering with "Selection of Human Embryos", and anything which might ultimately lead up to to a "Selection of Human Race". It doesn't help to "eradicate" Human Lives, he added.


    Several Experts and NGOs expressed "Deep Concern", as f;ex. DR M.C. Cornel of the "European Society of Human Genetics", which stressed, on this occasion, that "the importance of Non-Directiveness in Reproductive issues is a Central characteristic of Human Genetics, after the Atrocities committed in the name of Genetics in the first half or the 20th Century".

     - "This is completely Unacceptable", stressed Italian Liberal MEP Vittorio Prodi, on the Controversial Amendment, also because pushes to "eliminate early Human Life", as he noted.

     - "This opens a Dangerous Road, rather a Motorway", denounced Danish MEP Mrs Margrette Auken, from the "Greens", observing that various similar attempts were made in the Past "not only in Germany, but also in several other Countries, "even at the 1970ies", "f.ex. on forced Sterilisation of Roma" People, and other criticisable situations f.ex. in the UK, in Sweden, etc. as she said.

    + Other NGOs, as f.ex. "LebenHilfe" from Berlin, added that, among various other Risks, could also be that, by exploiting the pre-implantation Genetic Diagnostics and the Selection of "healthy" Embryos, some may "propagate" several "Eugenic" aims, starting f.ex. by pushing to eradicate Human Livies which might "Cost too much" to preserve, ultimately exposing to dangers reminiscent of the "3rd Reich"'s atrocious abuses.

    In consequence, ChristianDemocrats/EPP and "Green" MEPs "decided by Majority to vote against" this Controversial Amendment, anounced to Journalists the 5 MEPs who participated in the Press Conference, representing a wide spectrum, from Liberals to "Greens" and ChristianDemocrats, and from Hungary, Italy, Germany and Danemark up to Ireland (Gay Mitchell), etc.
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    Hungarian ChristianDemocrat MEP Laszlo Surjan said "that it was "Suddenly, at the End of the Procedure" in Committee, that "appeared this (Controversial) Amendment, which has nothing to do" with the main purpose of the Report, on which all agreed.

    He denounced an "Unhonest" move, and called to "avoid this kind of unacceptable situations". Nobody should "Select People", Surjan stressed.

    - "We (MEPs) had No Chance to Discuss" this last-minute Amendment earlier added at a Committee's level, said German MEP Peter Liese

    Speaking to "EuroFora", Dr. Liese, the Spokesman of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group in EU Parliament, said that MEPs didn't oppose other references of the Report f.ex. on "Genetic Tests", because they were "no proposals" to impose them, while, on the contrary, there was "a Problem" if anyone attempted to "impose" f.ex. this or that Genetic Technique and "Genetic Counselling", etc. to the People on human reproduction.
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The precise Text :
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    Controversial parts of Amendment No 15 ask mainly "to lead finally to the Eradication" of "Hereditary" "rare diseases", "through Genetic Counselling .., and ..pre-Implantation Selection of healthy Embryos".

    But  EU Rapporteur Professor Trakatellis, said to "EuroFora" that fears should be alleviated by Guarantees that all this should be done only "where appropriate", when it's "not contrary to existing National Law", and "always on a Voluntary basis", according to other Parts of the Amendment.

    He stressed that the main aim was to allow "a free and informed choice of persons involved", without imposing them anything :  - "It's not an obligatory, but advisary" text, he said.

    To make that point clear, he was ready, in agreement with many MEPs, to eventually drop at least that part of the controversial Amendment which initially called for "efforts to ..lead finally to the Eradication of those rare diseases" "which are Hereditary".

    But, until late Wednesday evening, reportedly together with many other MEPs, he stood by all the rest of the controversial Amendment, (fex. on the "Genetic Counselling" and the "pre-implantation Selection of healthy Embryos"), so that critical MEPs, going from ChristianDemocrats as Dr. Liese, to "Greens" or "Ind/Dem", observed to "EuroFora" that "this was not enough" to close the dangerous loophole.

    Particularly since, as Professor Trakatellis noted himself, "this is already allowed to the U.K.", and "other National Legislations would probably follow, sooner or later" in a similar direction. As for a general call to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", this "should happen, at any case, in practice, de facto", to protect public Health.

    On the contrary, "our goal should be to help patients suffering from rare diseases, not to eradicate the patients. In case of genetic disease risk, the decision should not be guided by scenarios" made by politicians. "Perents who may decide to accept a child, even if handicapped or with genetic disease, must be respected and supported with solidarity", critical MEPs stated.

    - "Any Pressure" to "a patient or couple (who "should be able to make an informed choice consistent with their own values"),"from health Professionals, Public Health Policies or Governemental Institutions, or Society at large, should be avoided", stresses the "European Society for Human Genetics".

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Each MEP's vote will be registered !

-----------------------------------   

The Socialist Group requested a "Split vote" on the Amendment 15, first without, and afterwards with the words "lead finally to the Eradication" etc.


    But the first "split vote" leaves intact all the other parts of the Controversial Amendment, (i.e. "Genetic Counselling", "Selection of healthy Embryos", etc).

    That's why, 3 Groups of MEPs : ChristianDemocrats/EPP, "Greens/EFA", and "Ind/Dem", have asked for "Roll Call Votes", on everything regarding the Controversial Amendment No 15, and on the final outcome of the resulting Report as amended, which will register all the individual positions to be taken by each MEP.   

Something which will obviously make each MEP think twice before voting for one or another choice, to be sure that he/she will make the right choice in front of EU Citizens, particularly at these pre-Election times...


    Crucial Votes were scheduled between 12 Noon and 1 p.m. local Strasbourg time, in the middle of a long series of various other Reports, and after a long Public Debate on the larger Health policy package, from 9 to 11.50 am.

    The specific Report inside which was hidden the controversial Amendment is due to be debated between 11 and 12 am.

    So that more last-minute Surprises may not be excluded a priori...

    Particularly at the present Historic moment, when even the Institutional Future of the EU depends on the result of a second Referendum on "Lisbon Treaty", later this year, in ...Ireland, a mainly Catholic country, where People are particularly sensitive in such kind of socio-cultural and values issues...
 

      ***     
 
     (Draft due to be updated).
 
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