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Thursday, 19 December 2002 - Strasbourg OJ edition


  Montfort (NI ), in writing . – (FR) The 2003 draft budget is, in itself, sound. For the first time, the European Parliament is achieving genuinely rigorous work, mindful of the economic situation and the constraints upon the Member States, and is treating European finances with an austerity which we can only welcome.

It does, however, contain a number of measures which we dispute, the most unacceptable of which concerns aid to peoples and healthcare in the area of reproduction, for which an increase of 200% is proposed, an increase which was rejected by the Council.

Indeed, if we place this budget line alongside the objectives of the Sandbaek report, which it finances, we see that there is no guarantee that the practice and promotion of abortion will be excluded from this funding. Parliament does not permit such practices and ‘solemnly’ reaffirmed, when voting on the report on ‘life sciences and biotechnology’, ‘that the life and dignity of all human beings, whatever their stage of development and state of health, must be respected’.

In the light of this doubt and in the absence of any clarification from Commissioner Nielson, we cannot vote for this budget line.

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