The European Union has established a system, known as the European Citizens Initiative, under which members of the public are able to put forward proposals for new EU laws. If a million signatures are obtained, the European Commission is obliged to consider the proposal. But now the European Citizens Initiative is being reviewed, because EU citizens are not expressing the right opinions.
Ideas to pass the million signature threshold include a ban on animal testing, and a ban on using EU money to fund abortions or experiments using human embryos. But when Christian groups gathered support for a proposal that ‘gay marriage’ should not be recognized in EU law, EU officials began to express concern that the Initiative could ‘generate Euroscepticism’. In a masterpiece of obfuscation, the minutes of the meeting that considered the petition state: ‘The members regretted that experience to date had shown that citizens’ initiatives did not always move European law or the European project forward, but tended instead to involve highly controversial and emotionally charged issues of greater interest to minorities than to the vast majority of EU citizens and, ultimately, generated Euroscepticism.’ The meeting ‘called for a debate on how to rectify this situation and stressed that, in the current European context, the Commission should take account of the political consequences that this mechanism could have in the longer term.’
In other words, because the people who are making use of the Initiative to express their concerns are not expressing politically correct, liberal, progressive ideas, they must be written off as ‘minorities’ and ignored. Apart from revealing the manner in which the EU holds its citizens, this episode has its encouraging side. It shows that the peoples of Europe, who have a long Christian (if not always Protestant) history, still hold Christian values dear, and are prepared to express them, even if no one in Brussels is listening.