Włodzimierz Rędzioch talks with prof. Carlo Casini – a parliamentarian of the European Parliament, a historic leader of the Italian pro-life movement and the main initiator of the petition ‘One of us’

It is a sad event in the EU history. The EU bureaucrats from the European Commission were waiting for the announcement of their decision till the elections for the European Parliament would be – they were aware that their biased and ideologically motivated move would be a testimony of democracy deficit in managing the Union and ignoring the opinion of millions of citizens. Therefore, only after the elections it was made public that the Commission had rejected the civic initiative ‘One of us’, under which nearly 2 million Europeans from 28 EU countries gave their signatures

WŁODZIMIERZ RĘDZIOCH: – You were the main pioneer of the petition ‘One of us’. Could you remind what the purpose of this civic initiative was?

PROF. CARLO CASINI: – The main purpose of the initiative was to provoke a discussion in EU institutions, mainly in the Parliament, about the status of the human embryo. In other words, its purpose was and remains answering the question: ‘Is the embryo a human being, or not?’. This is a problem of strategic meaning because ‘death culture’ – the term so often used by John Paul II – is based on the rejection of this basic question. Therefore, we were asking for introducing the law which would forbid using the EU money to destroy human embryos which takes place during experiments, on conceived beings, in order to obtain stem cells, as well as during abortion, advertised and executed by non-governmental organizations funded by EU.

– The petition was signed by nearly 2 million citizens – exactly 1901947 from 28 EU countries, but, despite that, the European Commission rejected it, and on the last days of its term of office. How did you react to this arrogant decision of the Commission?

– I accepted this decision with grief but not with resignation. It was announced after the elections to the European Parliament not to discourage anyone to participate in the elections of pro-life electors who want to defend life and who are appalled with this move of the EU authorities. That is true that the current Commission still hold the term of office but it would be more logical if the new Commission dealt with the whole matter.

– Civic petitions – as a form of direct democracy – are envisaged in the Lisbon Treaty, but the EU bureaucrats decided it would be right to ignore the voice of such a big number of people. Does it mean that the EU critics are right, when they blame it for democracy deficit and succumbing to influences of ideological and economic groups?

– I do still believe that the European Union is a big political project. But rejecting the petition ‘One of us’ undoubtedly proves democracy deficit. Civic initiatives were introduced in order to make the Union more democratic especially that our petition concerned the basic fundament of democracy – equality of all human beings.

– Why can’t the Catholics rely on politicians in the centres of the EU authority, who would defend natural and Christian values which lie at the basis of the European civilization?

– Here we deal with a big cultural problem – the Catholics are considered as second-class citizens not only in Europe. Moreover, there is a systematic censorship of everything which concerns life protection. It causes a situation when the Catholics seem to have agreed to the fate and be shy which makes the situation worse and does not allow their voice to be heard.

– What is to be done in this situation?

– We are going to appeal to the Justice Tribunal; we are going to renew the activity and strengthen the European Federation for the sake of Life and Human Dignity, which took the name of ‘One of us’; in the new Parliament we are going to make contacts in order to establish a parliamentary group which will promote the initiative ‘One of us’ through propositions of resolution and parliamentary questions, deciding about a parliamentary debate. We are going to organize seminaries and collect documentations, in order to prove lies included in the report of the European Commission which rejected our initiative.


"Niedziela" 23/2014

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: