In times when human dignity is under threat on many different legislative fronts, not only in the EU but also worldwide, Members of the European Parliament, from different political groups and affiliations, have acted this week to relaunch the cross-party Working Group on Human Dignity.
The original Working Group was first established by Gay Mitchell MEP, together with Nirj Deva MEP and Benjamin Harnwell, and was launched in 2009 by Prof. Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering MEP, then President of the European Parliament. It continues the original mission of gathering MEPs who believe it is of key importance to maintain the vision of the EU’s founding fathers: putting human dignity at the forefront of EU policy making.
“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 recognising the contribution of Europe’s Christian heritage” affirm the MEPs, chaired by Mr Bastian Belder MEP (ECR) and a cross-party board of vice-chairs composed by Mr Alojz Peterle MEP (EPP), Mr Luigi Morgano MEP (S&D), Ms Marian Harkin MEP (ALDE), Ms Daniela Aiuto MEP (EFDD) and Ms Diane Dodds MEP (NI). Leo van Doesburg was nominated Secretary General.
The Working Group has 12 founding MEPs from six political groups, and will act as a focal point for legislative and political action in the European Parliament in order to improve political coordination among likeminded Members, and serve as a catalyst for changing the way policy makers perceive human dignity.
“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 in the European Parliament, hoping to effectively translate our common vision to policy” stressed the MEPs.
“Our objective is to emphasize that the universal recognition of human dignity stands above all differences and it is essential to the development of the human being and the prosperity of our society, equally concerning the future of all European citizens” concluded the MEPs.
The Universal Declaration of Human Dignity, which fully takes into account the ‘Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union’, is the basis of the newly relaunched Working Group. Membership of the Working Group, which is affiliated to the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, is open to all Members of the European Parliament who sign the Universal Declaration.