“Europe has to put human dignity at its core or it risks losing its fundamental values,” MEPs say

“No matter which political sector – Europe has to put the human being and human dignity into the centre. Our European Union has been founded as a Union of values. We risk the Union if we lose this base,”  Conservative MEP Arne Gericke (Germany) said during the European Parliament Working Group on Human Dignity.

MEPs from different political parties, from the socialist to the conservatives, gathered in Brussels on 29th November for the conference on “The Political, Legal and Scientific Aspects of Human Dignity.” The meeting was moderated and hosted by MEP Alojz Peterle (Slovenia).

The discussion focused on the development of human dignity through a historical perspective from antiquity up to the Second World War. It was underlined how the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (Oviedo Convention) called for prohibition of the deliberate creation of human embryos for research purposes, interventions in the human germ line which might.

“The culture of Europe arose from the encounter between Jerusalem and Israel’s monotheism, between Athens and the philosophical reason of the Greeks and Rome and the shape of Roman law,”  MEP Marijana Petir (EPP, Croatia) said.

“This three-way encounter has shaped the inner identity of Europe. It is written in the European DNA to respect the inviolable dignity of every single human person and as such, we are called to defend it at this and every moment in our history. Human dignity is not just a general notion but rather a making essence of every single human being,” she also stressed.

“Human Dignity should be the basis and the protection for human rights, not the other way around,”   MEP Branislav Skripek (ECR, Slovakia) added.

The MEPs finally agreed that Human Dignity is an inherent value necessary to protect life and serves as a basis for Human Rights and respect of Human Dignity should remain central in the EU policies.