FAFCE

Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe

The President of the European Council is clear : “The definitions of marriage and family are matters of national competence for EU Member States". What about the European Commission ?

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On 23 July FAFCE President, Antoine Renard, wrote a letter to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, in order to express the concerns of the European Federation of Catholic Family Associations (FAFCE) regarding the statements of the First Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, in favour of same-sex marriage. Donald Tusk promptly answered, clearly stating that “the definitions of marriage and family are indeed matters of national competence for EU Member States". 

Read more: The President of the European Council is clear : “The definitions of marriage and family are...

Press release | The Family, hope for Europe

Brussels, 16 July 2015

One year ago, a new legislative term of the European Parliament was launched in Strasbourg. Instead of the expected proposals in favour of the respect for every person, many times proclaimed during the electoral campaign, during these 12 months, we have witnessed a number of political acts which tend to impose a conflictual vision on life, of human relations and of the relations between men and women. We recall the TarabellaPanzeri and Noichl Reports, adopted under strong pressure during the last few months; at the beginning of September, the European Parliament will again discuss two reports featuring very clearly oriented contents.

Read more: Press release | The Family, hope for Europe

Press release | Which vision for the future of Europe? The European Parliament moving towards Deep Divide on Critical Issues

Strasbourg, 9 June 2015

Today the European Parliament adopted the Report of the Women's Rights Committee (FEMM) on the EU strategy for equality between women and men post 2015, originally drafted by Maria Noichl (S&D, Germany). 
As we stated in our messsage to the Members of the European Parliament before this vote, the adopted text goes clearly beyond the Treaties and breaches the principle of Subsidiarity on very sensitive matters. A breach that is of great concern to citizens across the EU.

This is an initiative resolution with no legal binding consequences for the Member States. Nevertheless, we notice that, since the beginning of the current mandate of the European Parliament, there is a significant increase of this kind of political acts, which tend to impose a certain conflictual vision of the relationships between women and men, rather than striving for the respect of the dignity of all.

The 
Report on Progress on equality between women and men in the EU in 2013, which was rejected by the past Parliament for the year 2012 in 2014, was adopted on 10 March, asking for a "right" to having ready access to abortion (§47). Two days later, the Report on the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2013 and the European Union’s policy on the matter was also adopted, with an even stronger call for a "right to abortion" (§136), pushing Member States to recognise "same-sex marriages" (§162).

Today, with the Report originally drafted by Ms Noichl, for the first time ever the European Parliament  "Recommends that, as the composition and definition of families change over time, family and work legislation be made more comprehensive with regard to (...) LGBT parenting" (§31).These issues do not only belong to the remit of national competence, they are also highly sensitive and there is no common understanding among the 28 Member States: there is on the contrary a growing challenge as regards the social peace on the European continent due to these issues that create a deep divide among citizens and their elected representatives at national and European levels. 


Furthermore, are we sure that this means taking into account the best interest of the child, in line with the international conventions which protect the rights of children? Today the European Parliament, amid applauses, promoted once again the "right" to abortion (§52, §68, §72) and also called "on the Commission to encourage Member States to promote (medical) fertility support and to end discrimination in access to fertility treatment and assisted reproduction" (§59), avoiding any reference to children who are deliberately deprived of their biological parents and opening the door to any kind of assisted reproduction, including surrogacy motherhood if one were to follow the logic of "access for all to assisted reproduction". On Monday, at the end of the preliminary debate, Ms Noichl denied that this text contains any reference to surrogacy, forgetting that surrogacy is a logical consequence of the liberalisation of assisted reproduction. Yes, unfortunately, this report also does include support to surrogacy. 

However, something is changing. Members of the European Parliament are not all on the same line, and the vote of today made that clear: there is a strong and growing opposition to this ideological vision, which is far from the everyday life of many women and men. Many of MEPs denounce the fact that reports coming from the FEMM Committee are "periodically manipulated to become in turn the receptacle where merging the interference of one or more lobby with issues of equality between men and women should not interfere" (Daniela Aiuto, EFDD, Italy). Many of them do not want the European Commission to take the place of Member States on matters of sexual and reproductive health (Cf. e.g. the Declaration of vote of Marian Harkin, ALDE, Ireland). Many of them strongly believe in the principle of subsidiarity, as "not every issue in Europe is an issue for Europe", as stated by Angelika Niebler (EPP, Germany).

The huge number of abstentions (81) and the number of votes against the resolution coming from political groups which strongly supported this report (S&D, Greens/EFA, GUE-NGL, ALDE) reveal that European citizens truly can be represented in Brussels and Strasbourg: nevertheless this demands significant work on culture and a long-standing commitment for a European Union that respects life and family: "On these issues- FAFCE President Antoine Renard declared -there are not right and left wings, as many would like us believe, but different visions crossing all political parties. FAFCE will continue its mission to represent the real interests of European families in Brussels and Strasbourg". 

 

Contact: Maria Hildingsson, Secretary General
+32 4 70 20 39 18

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Press Release | EU strategy for equality between women and men post 2015. Is there an alternative for our children?

Brussels, 3 June 2015
 
Tuesday 9 June the European Parliament is going to vote on the EU strategy for equality between women and men post 2015, also known as the Noichl Report, so named for its rapporteur, Maria Noichl (S&D, Germany).

Read more: Press Release | EU strategy for equality between women and men post 2015. Is there an...

Press Release | Family friendly policies Intergroup reconstituted in the European Parliament

 

Brussels, 10 April 2015

 

Last week the intergroup on Active ageing, intergenerational solidarity and Family friendly policies was officially registered at the European Parliament. This intergroup is divided into two Sub-Groups, one devoted to Active ageing, coordinated by Mr van Nistelrooij (EPP – Netherlands), and another one, coordinated by Mrs Zaborska, (EPP – Slovakia), to Family friendly policies. The topic intergenerational solidarity,  will be addressed by both sub-groups as it is transversal. FAFCE warmly welcomes the re-establishment of an official structure of the European Parliament devoted to Family friendly policies, for the new legislative term 2014-2019.

Read more: Press Release | Family friendly policies Intergroup reconstituted in the European Parliament

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