Member of Moldovan Parliament, 1998-2001, 2009- present time. Secretary of the Committee of Foreign Affairs and European Integration; Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
In Bratislava in September, there will be an important European Council to re-think Europe after Brexit. How do you see the European Union after Brexit?
In the European Union there must be a balance between the national interest, sovereignty of Member States, and directives which are adopted in Brussels. It is important to not overstep the Member States. Brexit should be a wake up call. I believe in unity and diversity of the European Union but without compromising the identity. We should keep in mind our identity and values: they should not be sacrificed for the sake of unity.
Do European politicians lack Christian values?
I think we see how Christian values are disappearing from the public square and they are not openly supported by politicians. We need to stand up, promote and defend Christian values. This is an important task for politicians and an important issue for the future of Europe.
How do you want to defend Christian values?
In the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe, I tabled a resolution on tackling intolerance and discrimination with a special focus on Christians in Europe. The resolution has been adopted by a large majority. It defends Christian values thanks to special articles within it: for example, empowering Christians to be in public offices. Other resolution have been tabled in the council of Europe, such as finding the good balance between the interests of the child and keeping the family together. The Bondariu family of Romania living in Norway is a good example of this. We need to tackle the issue and politicians should be more active both at the European Parliament and at the Council of Europe.
What do you want to say to some politicians, e.g. EU HR for Foreign Policy Mogherini, who are not using the world ‘genocide’ to describe the massacre of the Christians around the world?
I think political correctness became a stumbling block and we, as politicians, don’t have the courage to call things by their name. It is very important to call things as they are and not to hide behind political correctness. If we see that Christians are killed and beheaded we should speak loudly about this and defend religious freedom.
There is a huge debate at national and European level on surrogacy. At the Council of Europe the resolution on surrogacy has been rejected but now the rapporteur De Sutter wants to propose the issue again. What will your new actions be?
I regret that Ms. De Sutter didn’t resign after the report was rejected the first time. The Social Affairs Committee will debate a new draft resolution written by Ms. De Sutter in September. I hope we will reject it once again. It is important that MPs who support moral values and are against surrogacy, in particular the commercial surrogacy, will be there and vote against.
Jan Figel has been appointed as EU Representative on Religious Freedom outside the EU, don’t you think that there is a need to protect religious freedom also inside the EU?
Yes, there is a need to have a representative of the EU also to monitor the religious freedom inside the EU. We see many times a clash of rights and we see that religious freedom is sacrificed for the so called “new rights”. This is not a good approach. Religious freedom is a fundamental freedom and we need to keep an eye and make sure that religious freedom is kept and is not violated.