JOINT MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
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16.12.2009
PE432.859v01-00}
PE432.861v01-00} RC1
 
B7-0275/2009}
B7-0277/2009} RC1

pursuant to Rule 115(5) of the Rules of Procedure

replacing the motions by the following groups:

Verts/ALE (B7‑0275/2009)

GUE/NGL (B7‑0277/2009)


on human rights, religious symbols and subsidiarity


Judith Sargentini, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Hélène Flautre on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
Rui Tavares, Nikolaos Chountis, Jean-Luc Mélenchon on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

European Parliament resolution on human rights, religious symbols and subsidiarity  

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, the right to education and the prohibition of discrimination, as protected by international and European human rights and fundamental freedoms instruments, and notably by Articles 9 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), Article 2 of Protocol No 1 thereto and Articles 10, 14 and 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–   having regard, inter alia, to the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the Lautsi v. Italy case,

–   having regard to the future accession of the EU to the ECHR,

–   having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the Lautsi v. Italy judgment was handed down by the European Court of Human Rights on the basis of the ECHR, to which all EU Member States, including Italy, are signatory parties,

B.  whereas, in accordance with the Copenhagen criteria, being a party to the ECHR is a precondition for membership of the European Union, and whereas the EU bases its international human rights dialogue on, inter alia, the ECHR,

C. whereas the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union was drafted on the basis of the ECHR and its case-law, and whereas it is binding on all EU Member States under Article 6(1) TEU,

D. whereas the ECHR is entirely consistent with the subsidiarity principle, since the European Court of Human Rights intervenes only after internal appeals have been exhausted and only when a State Party to the ECHR Convention violates the human rights and fundamental freedoms promulgated in the ECHR Convention and its Protocols,

E.  whereas the ECHR provides for appeal mechanisms, and whereas Italy has taken advantage of this possibility by appealing to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights for a review of the judgment,

F.  whereas, on the basis of Article 6(2) TEU, the EU recognises the importance of the ECHR and of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, as ‘the Union shall accede to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms’, thereby ensuring that, in its areas of competence, the EU does not violate the ECHR,

G. whereas the neutrality of public authorities does not impinge upon freedom of religion, but is a necessary prerequisite for pluralism in society at large,

1.  States its commitment to the principle of the separation of church and state, to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief, to the right to education and to the prohibition of discrimination;

2.  Recalls that the Member States, on the basis of the principle of subsidiarity, are required to respect, apply and implement human rights and fundamental freedoms as enshrined in the ECHR and its case-law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights at national level;

3.  Believes that Member States can regulate at national level issues relating to conflicts between human rights by finding the most appropriate ways of addressing individual rights without discrimination, thus minimising appeals to courts at national and international level;

4.  Believes that only states based on the principle of the separation of church and state – as opposed to theocratic states – can find the proper solutions to safeguard everybody’s right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, the right to education and the prohibition of discrimination, which are all core values of the EU;

5.  Takes the view that public authorities, at national and EU level, should represent and address all citizens without discrimination, regardless of belief, religion or philosophy, and take action to protect the rights of everybody; believes that, in the case of state schools in particular, students deserve fair and equal treatment irrespective of their religious or philosophical beliefs;

6.  Believes that it should not be compulsory to display religious symbols in premises used by public authorities, while the use, wearing and display of such symbols should be fully guaranteed in private places such as houses, places of worship and denominational schools, and in public areas;

7.  Points out that it is an internal, international and European legal obligation for EU Member States to implement in full the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, on the basis both of the commitments entered into by signing and ratifying the ECHR and of their membership of the European Union, as laid down in Article 6 TEU;

8.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Member States.

 

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