THE COMMISSION VETOS THE CITIZENS’ INITIATIVE “ONE OF US”
28 de Maio de 2014
decision contrary to ethical and democratic requirements
On 28th May, the last day in office, the former “Barroso
Commission”vetoed the Citizens’ Initiative “UN DE NOUS / ONE OF
US”, the largest petition in the history of European
Institutions. This initiative, formally supported by two million
people in Europe, is the largest petition in European history.
It demands that Brussels no longer finances any practice that
destroys human life before birth.
The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is a participative
democracy mechanism created by the Treaty of Lisbon through
which a million citizens can take the initiative of introducing
a legislative proposal in the European institutions.
The ONE OF US Committee expresses its deep disappointment
towards a deaf Commission which today makes a decision contrary
to ethical and democratic requirements. While each initiative
draft is controlledupstream by the Commission before being open
to signature, the Barroso Commission claims topossess the right
of veto downstream, against initiatives having yet successfully
obtained the required popular support.Such veto power is
illegitimate and anti-democratic since politically, it is the
European Legislature that may give a verdict on the content of
the Initiative, and not the Commission, otherwise, the ECI
mechanism would be meaningless.
An Unjustified VETO which does not even take the purpose of the
request into account: The Commission’s response is hypocritical
and disdainful as it pretends to not understand the purpose of
the demand and comprises of thirty pages of self satisfaction of
its own policy. The Commission wishes to continue financing non
ethical and outdated biotechnological practices, as well as
abortion in developing countries including countries where this
is prohibited by criminal law.
An Unjustifiable VETO which flouts the democratic procedure: The
Commission, rather than noticing the Initiative’s success and
transmitting it to the European Parliament and Council of Europe
has abused its power of formal control to exercise a judgement
on the political opportunity of “One of Us” and to block this
procedure. The Commission is therefore trying to defend a
privilege of initiative, being the only institution able to
initiate legal procedures up upon the creation of the ECI
mechanism. The Commission therefore made this mechanism a
travesty while the deputies, on the contrary, wanted it to be a
real instrument of participative democracy. The Commission thus
testifies to the absence of a democratic culture.
For the “ONE OF US”Citizens’ Committee, the procedure is not
over: on one hand, the Commission’s decision is likely to be
appealed before the Court of Justice in Luxembourg – which
acknowledges respect for human life from conception – and on the
other hand, the new Parliament will audition the next Commission,
allowing it to replace the respect of the Citizens’ Initiative
in the heart of debates, and asks European Institutions to be
more ethical and democratic.