European Union: Appeal to the convention for the deletion of article 37

المصدر: 
Catholics For A Free Choice
Article 37 introduces the recognition of the status of churches and non-confessional organisations and introduces an additional paragraph regarding a structured dialogue of the European Institutions with those churches and organisations.
The following signatory associations (listed below), active in all European countries, congratulate the Convention on the Future of Europe for proposing guarantees for the functioning of participatory democracy in Title VI.
In this spirit, our associations call for the future European Constitution not to pose any obstacle to the right of individuals to make free decisions concerning their lifestyles and personal choices on all questions linked to human existence.

The signatory associations are concerned about preserving and continuing to develop the gains acquired in their various fields of activity, be it in the field of education, morality, family and the condition of women, contraception, abortion, euthanasia, divorce or sexual orientation, etc...

The signatory associations note that article 37 provides Churches with a right to regular intervention into the policy-making of the European Union, thus allowing them to assert their religious options on matters listed above and many others such as discrimination against women, homosexuals, the fight against HIV/AIDS or on issues related to biomedical research.

The separation of Church and State must apply to all areas of community life.

The signatory associations therefore launch a solemn appeal to all members of the Convention regardless of their philosophical or religious convictions to request the withdrawal of the entirety of Article 37.

This is the latest appeal sent by dozens of European associations to challenge Article 37 of the Constitutional Treaty of the European Union:

Dear Madam or Sir,

In the context of your work at the Convention on the Future of Europe, you are currently discussing the proposed Articles concerning the functioning of a participatory democracy under Title VI (namely Articles 33 to 37).

One of these articles - Draft Article 37 - incorporates Declaration No 11 annexed to the Treaty of Amsterdam on the recognition of the status of churches and non-confessional organisations and introduces an additional paragraph regarding a structured dialogue of the European Institutions with those churches and organisations.

Many civil society associations feel concerned about the development of this Draft Article 37. On the 4th of May, you received an 'Appeal to the Convention' asking for the deletion of this Article from 6 european organisations. Since then, 30 others european or national associations, sharing the same concerns, signed up to the Appeal. New signatories continue to come in every day and we will be sharing their names with you in the coming days.

We would hope that you do take into account the voice of of these 36 civil society organisations by reading why we believe it is necessary for the Convention to delete this article and by taking up this essential issue.

Yours faithfully,

1. IPPF European network
2. ASTRA Network
3. Catholics for a Free Choice - Europe
4. European Humanist Federation
5. European Federation for Education and Culture (EFEC)
6. European Network "Church on the move"
7. Right to Die - Europe
8. The Standing Committee of Nurses of the EU
9. International Women's Health Coalition
10. ILGA Europe
11. Women Living Under Muslim Laws - International Solidarity Network
12. Women's Ordination Conference (USA)
13. Centre for Environmental Studies (Hungary)
14. AIDOS (Italy)
15. Rutgers Nisso Group (The Netherlands)
16. Dutch Abortion Clinics Foundation (The Netherlands)
17. Wemos Foundation (The Netherlands)
18. COC Netherlands (Federation of Dutch organisations for the acceptance of homosexuality)
19. Population Concern (UK)
20. Väestöliitto (Finland)
21. Mouvement Français pour le Planning Familial (France)
22. Women on waves (The Netherlands)
23. World Population Foundation (WPF) (The Netherlands)
24. Change (UK)
25. UK National Secular Society
26. UK Gay & Lesbian Humanist Association
27. Verein zur Umwidmung von Kirchensteuern e.V. (Germany)
28. Femmes et Hommes en Eglise (France)
29. Foreningen Sex & Samfund (Denmark)
30. PLANeS - Swiss Foundation for Sexual and Reproductive Health (Switzerland)
31. 'We are Church' (Portugal)
32. SENSOA (Belgium)
33. National Focal Point (Part of NIGZ) (The Netherlands)
34. Coordination Française pour le Lobby Européen des Femmes (France)
35. Mouvement des Jeunes Femmes (France)
36. FPFE (Spain)