On June 9, the European Parliament adopted the Report on the EU Strategy for equality between women and men post 2015. Its supporters claim this was the result of a “very progressive majority in this Parliament”. But a closer analysis of the vote reveals a different picture: There is neither a consensus nor a majority on the controversial claims of the Noichl report.
Despite the fact that the claims in the Noichl report can be described as nothing less than radical, it is interesting to see that the voting behaviour of the EPP essentially led to its adoption. This, therefore, raises the question if this political group really represents the “centre of society” as they claim to do?
Anything but consensus
A closer look at the voting results reveals that there is anything but a consensus on the controversial claims made in the so-called Noichl report. In fact, less than half (45.5%) of all 750 MEPs voted for the adoption of the report.
The European Parliament today [9 June 2015] adopted the FEMM Report on the Strategy for equality between women and men post-2015, presented by its rapporteur Maria Noichl (S&D), and rejected the alternative report offered by the EPP. The EPP’s resolution asked for "actions in favour of modernising and improving the protection of pregnant women and mothers at work, helping women to return to the labour market after giving birth, and reconciling work and family life" (§2.iv) while maintaining respect for the principle of subsidiarity (TEU Art.5,3).
With their decision, the MEPs gave a political signal that they will seek to weaken the EU principle of subsidiarity by increasing the EU’s role in gender matters and issues of equality beyond its competence. By favouring the Noichl Report, the MEPs gave their support to a proposal that includes several measures that go far beyond the competence of the FEMM Committee.
Estrela revisited: Noichl report calls for aggressive sex ed programmes, abortion, and medically-assisted reproduction05. Juni 2015
On the occasion of a plenary session on June 9, the EU Parliament is asked to vote on the so-called ‘Noichl report’ (2014/2152(INI)) on the ‘EU Strategy for equality between women and men post 2015’. This report – named after its rapporteur, Maria Noichl (Germany, S&D) – calls for a European Parliament Resolution that would push for extreme positions outside EU competence, hidden behind an agenda for “gender equality“.
FEMM Committee calls for radical measures
The Noichl report issues from the Committee on Women´s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM), which has called for various radical measures, including gender mainstreaming, a roadmap for LGBT people, medically-assisted reproduction and abortion, sexual education programmes in schools, quota for women in directorates, the adoption of the Equal Treatment Directive, and the ratification of the Istanbul Convention by those Member States who have not yet done so. It’s an “all-in-one-package” that pushes a controversial and ideological agenda.
A new European strategy for “gender equality” is emerging. As outlined at the high-level hearing, “Forum on the Future of Gender Equality in the EU”, organized in April by the Commission’s Directorate-General of Justice, the overall goal of the planned strategy is to effect a cultural shift through enhanced implementation of “gender mainstreaming” into all spheres of life, public and private. This policy strategy is based on the “gender theory”, a school of thought that is increasingly criticized for not having any scientific basis – and whose ultimate aim is to abolish the complementary vision of woman and man.
The planned strategy discussed at the forum involves the elaboration of a concrete policy framework that is to be included in the 2020 agenda of the European Union. Its aim is to accelerate the process of changing Europe into a gender-equal continent. The cornerstone of the strategy is lifelong re-education. This entails gender-neutral education that would begin in kindergarten, seeking to erase every kind of gender stereotype at the earliest age. This would be implemented across Europe.
Code of conduct for gender equality
But what would gender-neutral education look like? It would, in part, incorporate a code of conduct on gender matters in education that all European citizens would have to follow.
Dear Mr President,
As you might be aware of, the Irish citizens will vote this Friday 22 May in a referendum aimed at amending the Irish Constitution so as to redefine marriage as being between any two persons, regardless of their sex. Unfortunately, a climate of fear and intimidation has pervaded throughout the campaign, creating electoral conditions that are far from ‘free and fair’.
That is why we call on you, Mr President, to urgently and firm intervene in accordance with the standards already met in similar situations.
The EU claims to be a community of democracies, governed by the Rule of Law. When we go around the world observing voting, we insist that just as important as how voting procedures are carried out on polling day itself, is how the campaign is conducted.
What has taken place in Ireland over the past months is unacceptable for an EU Member State:
- Every one of the publically-funded political parties in the Irish Parliament is actively campaigning for a Yes to same-sex marriage and have threatened their members with expulsion unless they follow the party line.
- All of the media, both public and private, is strongly in favour and have even ignored a ruling of Ireland’s Supreme Court, ordering 50/50 allocation of space to groups on both sides of the debate. In addition, a number of senior media figures are actively campaigning on the Yes side.
- Multinationals with their headquarters in Ireland are telling their employees to vote Yes and to campaign for this on the social media. Considering that they employ thousands of Irish citizens during a difficult period for the Irish economy, the veiled threat is not hard to detect.
- Foreign billionaire has channelled millions of dollars to the Yes side; illegal under Irish electoral law, but not reacted to by the Irish Government.
Most disturbing of all, the national Police force is actively supporting the Yes side, including through the use of state resources by allowing police stations to be used for photo opportunities. This is particularly sinister because it is the Police who in Ireland are charged with securing the integrity of the voting stations and the vote counting procedure. Even the former Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman intervened to condemn this inappropriate action by the Police.
We as Members of European Parliament are concerned that the integrity of the Irish Referendum has been seriously compromised. This attitude to democracy is contradictory to core values of European Union, therefore we appeal, Mr President, for your intervention which we perceive indispensable.
Signed by MEPs:
Arne Gerike (ECR) Beatrix von Storch (ECR), Edouard Ferrand (NI), Kazimierz Michal Ujazdowski (ECR), Marek Jurek (ECR), Branislaw Skripek (ECR)