• A debate was held in the European Parliament concerning the ‘Matić report’, which claims abortion is a human right and calls for limiting the freedom of conscience and banning any criticism of the ideological concept of ‘sexual rights’.
• The ‘Matić report’ was widely opposed by the civic society. Thousands signed petitions against the report and dozens of non-government organisations joined a coalition to have the report rejected by the EP.
• The EP rejected the motion to stop work on the report on the grounds of violation of the principle of subsidiarity and two alternative resolution proposals.
• The EP adopted the Matić report by 378 to 255 votes, with 42 abstentions.
“Following yesterday’s vote, the European Parliament is left with a radical and ideological resolution that has no legal effect. The Matić report is a clear declaration of the political direction chosen by the European Parliament”, says Anna Kubacka, analyst of the Ordo Iuris International Law Centre.
Radical Matić report
For several months, numerous NGOs and the EU society followed the work on the so-called Matić report, i.e. a draft resolution accompanied by a report by Predrag Fred Matić, the Croatian socialist and current Member of the European Parliament. The Ordo Iuris Institute wrote about the controversial claims made in the Matić report and the fierce opposition it triggered across the EU.
Efforts to have the report rejected
In order to prevent adoption of Matić’s ideological resolution by the EP, Members from the ECR group submitted a motion to reject the report as inadmissible on the grounds that it violates the principle of subsidiarity. However, the motion was rejected by 391 to 280 votes even before yesterday’s debate.
Members from the ECR and PPE groups also submitted two alternative motions for a resolution. Adoption of any of the two amendments, which are in fact entirely new texts of a resolution, would prevent the Matić report from being voted on.
Voting on the drafts started at 9.30 and the results were announced at 13.00; as it turned out, the ECR motion was rejected by 402 votes ‘against’ to 267 votes ‘for’. The PPE motion was also rejected by 373 votes ‘against’ to 288 votes ‘for’.
The last chance to reject the Matić report was the vote on the report itself. Yet, according to the results announced at 18.15, 378 Members of the European Parliament voted ‘for’ the resolution, 255 ‘against’ it and 42 abstained from voting.
Consequences of adopting the report
Adoption by the EP of the resolution proposed by Matić is, in the first place, a proof of the Parliament’s detachment from the reality and law. Yet, importantly, different political groups have united in opposition to the ideological offensive. A strong coalition of NGOs from all over Europe and a large number of Members of the European Parliament representing different political options has been formed. Although both motions for alternative resolutions were rejected, the distribution of votes and similar results of the votes on both amendments show that, despite other differences, various groups are eager to oppose the leftist offensive.
“I am pleased that the difference in the number of votes ‘for’ and ‘against’ in the final vote is relatively small compared to the previous votes and has the potential to continue shrinking in future important votes. All of this gives hope for the future”, adds Anna Kubacka.
· At the request of the FEMM Committee (Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality), the European Parliament has focused on the impact of 'intimate partner' violence on women and children and on custody rights.
· The Court of Appeal in Warsaw has issued a decision in the case against Neil Datta - sued by the Ordo Iuris Institute for infringement of personal rights.
· During the current plenary session, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on a Texas state law restricting the practice of abortion.