Europe day to day
UPDATE: With a small margin of 9 votes, the European Parliament today has rejected with 298 to 289 the paternalistic Zuber Report and its false and narrow view of women's equality. The alternative EPP resolution, which was equally problematic, was rejected as well.
Both the Zuber Report and the alternative resolution would have:
- reduced women to the role of mere taxpayers,
- lacked respect for the personal life choices of women,
- implemented unconditional factual political and economic parity,
- ignored the principle of subsidiarity, and
- called for "gender training" for children.
European Dignity Watch had called upon MEPs to vote against both texts — the Report and the alternative resolution tabled by the EPP group. We congratulate the 298 MEPs who voted against the Report. By doing so, they made a statement in support of freedom and non-interference by the EU in the personal life choices of women.
This vote points in the right direction with regards to equality between women and men: by rejecting the view that a women is equal solely if she is a full-fledged member of the workforce and a taxpayer, the path has remained open for a more balanced and dignified view of women, family life, child-rearing and freedom.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, 11 March 2014, the European Parliament will vote on the “own-initiative” Report on equality between women and men in the European Union - 2012. Along the same lines of the Lunacek and Estrela Reports, this is yet another politically-motivated, non-legislative resolution that MEPs are once again called upon to vote for.
Prepared by Mrs. Inês Cristina Zuber — of the Portuguese Communist Party — for the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, this highly symbolic report is full of presumptuous, overreaching, and misleading assumptions about the European Union’s role in achieving equal opportunities for women and men. The alternative motion tabled by the centre-right EPP is no improvement, because equally unbalanced. Both should be rejected.
Is it really the government’s job to enforce the alleged advancement of society through laws prescribing how citizens should (or should not) act and think, and what they should (or should not) believe? How much education, control and supervision does a legislature believe citizens need?
The principle of equality before the law, which was achieved over hundreds of years, runs the risk of disappearing. In the process of becoming a major principle of political and legal thinking, its meaning has become confused with an equality of moral choices, and a statistical equality regarding how men and women live.
These newer understandings are quite different from the original meaning of equality before the law. Yet such a development still remains largely unchallenged. Moreover, the new understanding of equality is increasingly the basis of harsh anti-discrimination legislation proposed at the EU level — and at the level of many European countries.
In 2012, for example,...
Despite massive mobilisation against the controversial LGBTI road-map for the EU, the so-called “Lunacek Report” was adopted in plenary yesterday, 4th of February, with 394 in favour, 176 against, and 72 abstentions. Opposition expressed against the Report was unprecedented: 200,000 citizens signed a petition asking MEPs to reject the Report, while hundreds of NGOs sent letters to MEPs explaining the obvious dangers of this text. Yet a majority of MEPs voted in favour of it.
The arguments against the Lunacek Report have been widely discussed. Tens of thousands of citizens and many civil society organisations, accompanied by some MEPs, had expressed their concern that such a road-map aims at creating special “LGBTI rights”—and not at protecting the same human rights for all. As a consequence, a certain lifestyle, which is and will remain that of a tiny minority, will enjoy special protection in every respect. This puts freedom of speech, of conscience, of religion, and parental rights themselves at great risk. In the Lunacek Report, the very concept of human rights as the universal recognition of the rights flowing from the inherent human dignity of each and every person has been abandoned.
Despite all these concerns, a majority of MEPs bought into the illusion that a report asking for special legal protection for just one social group would advance equality in Europe.
Mrs. Lunacek and her allies repeatedly insisted that the Report calls for equality for LGBTI persons, not for any special right. But they never provided any evidence for this in any single statement made and consistently failed to respond to the thoughtful concerns raised by citizens across Europe.
A fading reality
Until very recently,...
Lunacek answers her critics — and confirms: This report does not promote equality for all but special privileges for some. Opposition is now growing.January 29, 2014
Mrs. Lunacek is getting nervous. From the beginning, she’s imagined that her “Report on the EU Roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity” would pass plenary this upcoming 4th of February without debate — and without major resistance from the public. After all, the committee on Civil Liberties (LIBE) had voted in favour of the text with a solid majority last December. But with more and more citizens all over Europe taking an interest in the Report’s actual contents, massive opposition is growing. So far, more than 100,000 emails from concerned citizens have reached MEPs and the protests are only getting louder.
This is the second time in a scant few months that large popular protest from across Europe arises against an ‘own-initiative’ report on areas where citizens do not want to be told by politicians how to live, what to think and how to educate their children. Just like Mrs. Estrela, the rapporteur of this report, Ulrike Lunacek, tries to pass it quickly and without debate (and thus avoid any exposure to the public until after the vote). Last December, Mrs. Estrela learned her lesson. In the end, she was firmly reminded that as an MEP she is elected to represent European citizens — not the shadowy lobby groups that pushed for her report — whose views differ considerably from her own pro-abortion agenda. With this defeat fresh in her mind and with massive email protest against her own report, Mrs. Lunacek is now getting nervous.