EU unit to monitor pro life organisations
8 May 2003
EU unit to monitor pro-life organisations Brussels, 8 May 2003--SPUC has added its support to opposition to a European Commission initiative establishing a unit to monitor pro-life organisations. Peter Smith, SPUC's representative at the European Parliament, said: "I am a British taxpayer working for a voluntary organisation. It is galling in the extreme to know that my taxes, some of which are used to fund the commission, will go to employing people whose job could be to refute the good-quality material which I give to MEPs on matters such as abortion. Not only do pro-abortion non-governmental organisations get EU funding, but EU money is now also going to this attempt to thwart our good work in defence of mothers and their unborn children. However, in the end, the truth will out." Mr Poul Nielson, the EU's aid commissioner, has referred to well-funded American groups which he says have extreme views on religion and sexuality. Mrs Dana Rosemary Scallon, the Irish pro-life member of the European parliament, is leading opposition to the unit. She is questioning whether the commission can legally use EU taxpayers' money to fund such a unit and says it compromises the commission's impartiality. She has asked for details of the unit's scope, budget and staffing, and suggests that its funding would be better spent on more deserving causes. Mrs Scallon was a signatory to a letter to Mr Nielson which sought clarification of his allocation of €32 million to organisations which promote abortion in developing countries. 56 other MEPs signed the letter, including Dr Ingo Friedrich, vice-president of the parliament, Mr José Maria Gil-Robles Gil-Delgado, former president of the parliament, Mr Francesco Fiori, vice-chairman of the European People's Party, and Messrs Brian Crowley, Liam Hyland and Sean O'Neachtain of Ireland's Fianna Fáil party. The letter pointed out that support for the promotion of abortion in the EU and outside it conflicted with EU treaties.