Europeans have put over one million signatures in defence of the identity of marriage and family. Minimum quotas of signatures have been reached in 14 EU countries. This constitutes very relevant support for defending the identity of marriage and family in Europe. Further steps concerning the initiative belong to the European Commission.
The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) Mum Dad & Kids was supported over one million EU citizens, which is the second of the conditions that had to be fulfilled for the ECI to be considered by the European Commission. The first of these - minima in seven Member States – was already achieved in November 2016.
It is a great success of the Initiative that as many as 14 Member States: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia have collected the required number of signatures.
Poland has the unquestioned leader position - about 1/3 of all signatures have been collected in our country. It is worth noting that minima were also collected in the two largest countries of the old Union, that is in France and Germany, with the highest minimum quotas, which significantly translated into the ultimate success in gathering support.
European Citizens' Initiative Mum Dad & Kids postulates that for the purposes of European law marriage should be understood only as a relationship between a woman and a man. Adoption of these solutions will strengthen Europe's unity and ensure respect for article 9 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. At the same time, the project explicitly emphasises that the EU institutions cannot take any steps to change the way in which marriage and family are understood in the light of national law.
ECI Mum Dad & Kids was registered on 11 December 2015, and since then work has begun on gathering support for the initiative (developing forms for collecting signatures in all Member States, and creating and certifying an electronic signature collection system). Collection of signatures began on 4 April 2016 and was completed after 12 months. However, the European Commission sought to reduce the time required to collect signatures from the beginning.
We do not intend to remain passive, but we want the European Ombudsman to take a position in the issue of controversy between Frans Timmermans, Vice-President of the EC, and the Mum Dad & Kids Initiative, said Professor Aleksander Stępkowski, member of the civic committee of the Initiative, President of Ordo Iuris.
Reluctance that the Mum Dad & Kids initiative was struggling against from the very beginning shows clearly that the European Union is experiencing a deep crisis of its democratic identity. Democratic actions are often described with a belittling term ‘populism’. EU institutions are increasingly treating people thinking independently as a problem and do much to hinder them the use of the institutions of direct democracy.
We hope that central European governments will support hundreds of thousands of their citizens in the dispute with the European Commission's bureaucracy. But above all we believe that we will be able to mobilize European public opinion around the efforts to restore proper meaning to the concepts of marriage and family, added Rafał Dorosiński, Vice President of Centre for Life and Family Initiatives Support.
After 12 months of collection across Europe, where both traditional (688 177) and on-line (312 026) signatures were collected, today, that is on 9 June, in all countries the transfer of signatures to relevant ministries is completed. Now, the obligation to count them rests with the national authorities, and further steps concerning the initiative belong to the European Commission.
The collection of signatures supporting the initiative was supported by the Ordo Iuris Institute, the Centre for Life and Family Initiatives Support, the Mother and Father Foundation, the Union of Three Plus Families.