Dear members and friends,
Today we have taken a step forward in protecting and promoting human dignity in Europe: the Estrela Report on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights has been rejected by a 7-vote majority at the European Parliament. The Estrela Report has been replaced by an Alternative Motion for a Resolution prepared by the European People’s Party and the European Conservatives and Reformists.
The World Youth Alliance celebrate this alternative resolution because it recognizes that ‘the formulation and implementation of policies on [sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)] and on sexual education in schools is a competence of the Member States’. This means that SRHR policy is not for the EU to determine.
The rejected Estrela Report, which would not have been binding but would have indicated priorities of the EU, promoted an infringement of the competence of Member States. It advocated for the legalisation of abortion and liberalisation of abortion laws in all Member States. The Report also lamented the exercise of the right to conscientious objection, which is internationally guaranteed in Article 10 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, among other treaties. On International Human Rights Day, 10 December, we rejoice that fundamental conscience rights are still protected.
We would like to thank all WYA members who have been actively involved in this victory. The WYA team prepared voting recommendations in 7 languages and contacted MEPs throughout the process. We hope that this vote is the first step in creating policy that protects human dignity in Europe and that the focus in the Sustainable Development Goals process remains on the true health and education needs of Europeans and all people around the world.
Director, World Youth Alliance Europe