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pursuant to Rule 133 of the Rules of Procedure

on efforts to obtain justice for European Thalidomide victims

Mara Bizzotto

Motion for a European Parliament resolution on efforts to obtain justice for European Thalidomide victims   

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to Rule 133 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas Thalidomide, which was first marketed in 1957 by the German drug company Chemie Grünenthal to alleviate nausea, particularly in pregnant women, was responsible for the birth of at least 20 000 children with severe malformations;

B.     whereas documentation from survivors gathered over the years by the British Thalidomide Society shows that the company was at fault and that, as a result of interference by the German Government in proceedings, it was never condemned but simply required to make out-of-court settlements to German victims alone;

C.     whereas the Thalidomide Society has discovered notes by the German Health Ministry concerning secret meetings between government officials and Grünenthal representatives seeking to ensure a final settlement that was much less than the damages being sought, not to mention a blatant conflict of interests when the Minister for Justice at the time intervened on behalf of the drug company;

D.     whereas for decades this information has been withheld from victims in other European Union countries, who have received no damages;

1.      Calls on the Commission to take action to ensure that the German Government assumes responsibility and acknowledges that the proceedings were flawed, so as to ensure that all European victims receive damages to the full extent necessary to meet the costs of leading an independent life.

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