On October 28, twelve Members of the European Parliament from different political groups and affiliations relaunched the Parliamentary Working Group on Human Dignity. The group, first established in 2009 by Prof. Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering MEP, then President of the European Parliament, wants to put human dignity on the forefront of EU policy making again. The group is chaired by MEP Bas Belder (ECR), member of ECPM.
“The infinite dignity of every human being is routinely denied across all stages of life, from conception until natural death. Therefore, the concept of human dignity must be further explored, in order to acquire a deeper understanding of the many cultural aspects which play a role in it, such as for example recognizing the contribution of Europe’s Christian heritage” said the MEPs. The board of the group features members of different political groups and is composed by MEPs Alojz Peterle (EPP), Luigi Morgano (S&D), Marian Harkin (ALDE), Daniela Aiuto (EFDD) and Diane Dodds (NI).
ECPM strongly supports the relaunch of the Working Group on Human Dignity. Human dignity expresses the intrinsic value of very human being. ECPM believes that this universal principle rests on the human being as created in the image and likeness of God. Therefore life should be protected from conception to natural death.
The first article of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union indeed states that “Human dignity is inviolable. It must be respected and protected”. The second article states that “Everyone has the right to life”. However, “these are not always the driving principles in the drafting of European legislation” expressed the MEPs.
The Working Group wants to serve as a catalyst for changing the way policy makers perceive human dignity, the MEPs said. “Topics such as the protection of early life and the dignity of the unborn will be an important concern for our endeavours, with the aim to support, under a cross party approach, many of the initiatives already active the European Parliament, hoping to effectively translate our common vision to policy”. The Universal Declaration of Human Dignity, which fully takes into account the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, remains the foundation of the newly relaunched Working Group.
The Working Group on Human Dignity features three ECPM members. It is chaired by MEP Bas Belder (ECR) and other members of the group include ECPM MEPs Arne Gericke and Branislav Škripek. Membership of the Working Group is open to all Members of the European Parliament who sign the Universal Declaration of Human Dignity.
ECPM board member Benjamin Harnwell, author of the Universal Declaration of Human Dignity and founder of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, was also present at the relaunch of the Working Group. Leo van Doesburg is involved as the general secretary of the group.