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Pro-life group to challenge EU funding of human embryo destruction at top European Court

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On Monday, lawyers from the Christian Legal Centre will give evidence before the highest court of the European Union on the case of ‘One of Us’, a pro-life federation which previously challenged the court to stop EU funding of the destruction of human embryos. But their bid was rejected because the court did "not like the subject matter". Please pray for Monday’s court case, that justice would be done, and the EU court would protect and uphold the lives of unborn babies.


Where: Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice of the European Union

Time: 2:30pm

Case Name: Puppinck and Others v Commission

This coming Monday, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice, the highest court of the European Union, is set to hear oral arguments in the ‘One of Us’ case. ‘One of Us’, a federation of pro-life organisations in Europe, is being represented by the Christian Legal Centre’s Paul Diamond and Roger Kiska. The ‘One of Us Federation’ brought the claim challenging the European Commission’s refusal to submit the legislative proposals of its successful European Citizenship Initiative (ECI) to the European Parliament for consideration.

When Europe faced its Constitutional crisis, it created the ECI to allow citizens a direct means of participating in the democratic and legislative process. If more than 1 million European citizens lent their support, within a year, to a proposed legislative initiative that fell within the competency of the European Union, the European Commission would then be obliged to send the proposal to the European Parliament and begin the legislative process towards possible adoption as a new EU law.

This is exactly what was done by the ‘One of Us’ ECI. In fact, it far exceeded the thresholds set by the EU regulation for ECI's becoming the most supported ECI in European Union history with more than 1.7 million certified signatures.

Legal Representatives for ‘One of Us’ will argue before the Luxembourg court that the future and integrity of the ECI lay in its hands; failure to respect the voices of 1.7 citizens would make real the perceived democratic deficit and would render the entire ECI procedure meaningless. The rejection of a valid ECI on the sole ground that the European Commission does not like its subject matter is the very definition of viewpoint discrimination.

The One of Us ECI called on the European Union to respect the sanctity of life from conception, proposing legislation which would end European Union funding of research which required the destruction of the human embryo as well as prohibiting European funds supporting abortion or abortion advocacy abroad.

To date, of the 4 successful ECI’s, ‘One of Us’ is the only one to have all of its legislative proposals rejected by the Commission. Ironically, in its press release regarding another one of the successful ECI’s, the Commission stated its hope that one day it would be able to stop animal testing in Europe all together. It has shown no similar mercy to the human embryo, rejecting the ‘One of Us’ proposal for an end to EU funding of research which destroys the human embryo.

The Christian Legal Centre’s Roger Kiska, commenting on the case, made it clear that the ECI is meaningless if the Commission has absolute and unfettered discretion to reject a successful ECI, no matter how many millions of Europeans support it, on the sole basis that it does not like the subject matter:

The European Commission already can and does initiate whatever legislation it sees fit, which by the very act of introducing it evidences their ideological agreement with the legislation. By refusing to honour its promises that the ECI would guarantee Europe’s citizens a direct right to participate in initiating legislation, it has done a great disservice to the principles of democracy. The Commission need look no further than behaviour such as this when wondering why nation’s like the United Kingdom have shown such dissatisfaction with the Union as a democratic institution.”

Watch Roger Kiska’s update on the ‘One of Us’ case: