“Mr Macron, are we still free to protect life?”


European Union


France’s President Emmanuel Macron addresses a plenary session at the European Parliament to present the French Presidency programme of activities as France currently holds the European Union rotating presidency in Strasbourg, France, on 19 January. Photo AFP, Bertrand Guay.

During his speech to the European Parliament, French President Emmanuel Macron announced last Wednesday that he wants to include abortion in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. An open letter of the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe confronts him with his contradictions: “Are we still free to protect life?”

Inaugurating the French presidency of the European Union for the coming months, Emmanuel Macron stirred up controversy in his speech on 19 January. The French President declared that he wanted to revise the European Charter of Fundamental Rights by adding abortion. It was a barely concealed tactic aimed at the new President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, French website Famille chrétienne writes. The politician from Malta, who was elected on 18 January, is known for her opposition to abortion.

The President of the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE) and its Honorary President wrote an open letter to Macron to confront him with his contradictions. “Are we still free to protect life?” the caption above the letter reads.

Contradiction to Charter

“While on the one hand, you speak of a ‘rule of law that is existential for our Europe’, on the other hand, you propose to enshrine in the Charter of Fundamental Rights a practice that is illegal in several EU Member States”, President Vincenzo Bassi and Honorary President Antoine Renard of the FAFCE write to the French President.

They further state to the President that while “you rightly point out” that the Charter has enshrined the abolition of the death penalty throughout the Union, “yet you wish to recognise” as a fundamental right “a practice” that would be “in flagrant contradiction” to the Charter itself, which “enshrines in its first two articles the inviolability of human dignity and the right to life.”

Bassi and Renard write to be concerned about the “shrinking space of freedom for all those who, in accordance with science, believe that human life begins at conception” and invite President Macron “not to use this Semester for political and ideological purposes.”

Both presidents conclude that the FAFCE, together with all persons of good will, wants to work together constructively, respecting the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. “If these common touchstones are missing, the words dearest to you—such as ‘values’ and ‘democracy’—will be emptied of their meaning.”



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