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JUNE, 2011

FREEDOM OF EDUCATION

  • Throughout the world, freedom of education and the rights of parents are violated and at the same time courageously defended. In addition to the European cases, such as the imprisoned German parents and the subject of Education for Citizenship in Spain, parents in Quebec have also been fighting for their rights for three years now. Since September of 2008, all Quebec students, from primary school to high school, both in state and private schools, have been obliged to take a course called Ethics and Religious Culture (ERC). Now, a couple who represent 2,000 Quebec parents wish to have their children exempted from the ERC programme and have gone to the Supreme Court to argue that their rights as parents and their religious beliefs have been violated. You can read more about this case here.

CULTURE OF LIFE

  • Hungary, currently holding the EU presidency, came under fire from Brussels this week for using European money to fund an anti-abortion campaign. «I can understand that you’re not ready for me yet. But think again, and put me up for adoption. Let me live!» reads one of the posters that were plastered all over Budapest.

But it seems that pro life ideas “are against EU values” as the French Socialist MEP Sylvie Guillaume wrote on her website. And the European Commission requested Hungary to stop its anti-abortion campaign because it was financed mainly using EU money allotted to gender equality projects. Later, on June 22nd, the European Commissioner for Justice, Viviane Reding, suggested Brussels could demand its money back. You can read more about this here.

Hazte Oir, a Spanish NGO, has published an action alert to send the following message to Mrs. Reding:

I am a European citizen. The campaign of the Hungarian Government promoting the protection of the right to life for unborn children represents my values. You don’t.

If you want, you may send your message to Viviane Reding by clicking here.

  • Last June 22nd, a public hearing was held at the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg, on The violation of the right to Conscientious Objection of medical practitioners in Spain. The hearing was organised by the Spanish NGO ANDOC (Asociación Nacional para la Defensa del Derecho a la Objeción de Conciencia) together with ECJL (European Centre for Law and Justice) with the support of the EPP group. During this hearing, chaired by Mrs. Blanca Fernández Capel, a comprehensive report on the violation of the right to Conscientious Objection in Spain was presented, and a parliamentarian written question signed by a number of MPs under Mrs. Fernández Capel and Mr. Luca Volontè, will be addressed to the Committee of Ministers. You can read the Question here.

HUNGARIAN CONSTITUTION

  • The European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) has recently issued its opinion on the Hungarian Constitution and it validates the choices of the Hungarian people in relation to moral and religious matters. You can watch this section of the Press Conference of the Venice Commission here and read the document Opinion on the New Constitution of Hungary here.
  • The Italian MP, Mario Mauro, has published an article on the Hungarian Constitution that is well worth reading here (in Italian).

RECOMMENDED ARTICLE

  • David Cameron, Dad’s gift to me was his optimism, a courageous and concerned article on the role of fathers in the family: I have never been shy of saying that families are the cornerstone of our society, the rocks upon which our lives are built. And on this day, the first Father’s Day since my own father died, I want to acknowledge just how important dads are to laying those foundations”.

This Newsletter is produced by Profesionales por la Ética (Professionals for Ethics), a Spanish NGO formed by a diverse network of people from different professional backgrounds who generously offer their time and talent to contribute to upholding the value of each and every person, their personal dignity and their inviolable rights.