Joint motion for a resolution - RC-B5-0702/2000Joint motion for a resolution


6 September 2000

pursuant to Rule 37(4) of the Rules of Procedure
by the following Members:
Evelyne Gebhardt and Eryl Margaret McNally, on behalf of the PSE Group,
Willy C.E.H. De Clercq, Diana Paulette Wallis and Elly Plooij-van Gorsel, on behalf of the ELDR Group,
Emma Bonino, Marco Cappato, Mario Walter Mauro, Gianfranco Dell'Alba, Benedetto Della Vedova, Olivier Dupuis and Marco Pannella
replacing motions by :
on the cloning of human embryos for therapeutic ends

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the United Kingdom Government’s decision 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[1],

–  having regard to its resolutions of 15 January 1998 on human cloning[2] and of 30 March 2000 on the decision by the European Patent Office with regard to patent No EP 695 351 granted on 8 December 1992[3],

A.  whereas scientific research, which is a key to human progress, must be pursued; whereas such research must not, however, 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.  Recalls that Directive 98/44/EC bans any industrial or commercial use of human embryos ;

2.  Reiterates that every individual has the right to his own genetic identity and that cloning of human beings, i.e. the reproduction of identical human beings, must be prohibited;

3.  Reaffirms its conviction that it is essential to define ethical and legal guidelines based on respect for human dignity in order to regulate the use of these new technologies in the area of biotechnology;

4.  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 check its conformity with European law;

5.  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;

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