Motion for a resolution - B5-0755/2000Motion for a resolution


5. September 2000

further to the Commission statement
pursuant to Rule 37(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by Robert Goebbels and Evelyne Gebhardt
on behalf of the PSE Group
on the cloning of human embryos for therapeutic ends

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B5-0702/2000


Resolution on the cloning of human embryos for therapeutic ends

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the decision of the Government of the United Kingdom to bring forward draft legislation to allow cloning of human embryos for therapeutic ends, while continuing to prohibit cloning for reproductive purposes; having regard to similar developments in the United States,

–  having regard to European Parliament and Council Directive 98/44/EC of 6 July 1998 on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions, which bans any industrial or commercial use of human embryos,

–  having regard to its resolutions of 16 March 1989 on the ethical and legal problems of genetic engineering and artificial insemination “in vivo” and “in vitro”, of 12 March 1997 and 15 January 1998 on the cloning of human beings and of 30 March 2000 on patent EP No 695 351,

A.  whereas scientific research, which is a key to human progress, must be pursued; whereas however such research must not undermine the dignity and integrity of the human being,

B.  whereas scientific progress in human cell technology offers new opportunities in pharmaceutical and medical research, health care and the treatment of hitherto incurable genetic diseases,

C.  whereas some techniques and the possible abuse thereof, in particular the cloning of human embryos, cause considerable public concern and raise serious ethical questions which must be the subject of full and informed public debate,

D.  whereas the public must be fully informed and the European Union must play a leading role in promoting a public debate,

1.  Decides to set up a temporary Committee on bioethics in the European Parliament, in order to provide a public platform for an informed and substantial debate on these issues;

2.  Calls on the Commission to bring forward proposals to ensure the participation of Parliament in respect of ethical matters relating to biotechnology;

3.  Calls on the European Group on Ethics in Sciences and New Technologies to issue as quickly as possible its opinion on human embryo cloning for therapeutic purposes, and calls on the European Commission to verify its conformity with European law;

4.  Reaffirms its conviction that it is essential to define ethical and legal guidelines based on respect for human dignity in the area of biotechnology;

5.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission and Council, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.