The world today is engaged in a political, cultural, and spiritual battle that will determine the future of humanity. On the surface, this battle takes the form of “culture wars” on issues such as abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, eugenics practices, marriage and divorce, homosexuality, gender identity and sexual orientation, freedom of speech and assembly, the role of religion in society, etc. But underlying these struggles is something much more important: a fundamental divergence of opinion regarding our understanding of the human person and his innate dignity.
It is no coincidence then that opinions on the aforementioned issues come in clusters: people who oppose abortion and euthanasia usually will also be in favour of giving a special legal status to marriage and the family, whereas people who think unborn children or the elderly and the sick deserve fewer legal protections than the rich and healthy will often also be in favour of liberal divorce laws and same-sex “marriage”. This is because opinions on these matters are all based on the same fundamental assumptions about human dignity.
The authors and editors have set up this website as a way to promote a society that is based on a consistent understanding of human dignity — a dignity which accrues to all human beings, from the moment of conception until their natural death. Human dignity is thus not just a human right; it is the basis of all rights as well as the source of all the moral obligations that we have. This site, therefore, advocates and promotes a proper understanding of democracy, human rights, and social justice, all of which must be founded on a correct understanding of natural law .
If we want to prevail in the battle in which we are engaged, we consider it insufficient to adopt a merely defensive, negative, or obstructionist position. Rather, we need to have positive objectives. We also need an agenda that, if implemented, will change this world for the better. Such an agenda is described on this website under the heading ‘ON THE AGENDA’. And because the intention of this website is to address a mainly European audience, we have decided to call it AGENDA EUROPE.
This website is intended to serve as a reliable source of information for all those who, within the institutional frameworks of the European Union and the Council of Europe, as well as at a national or local level in the Member States of these two organisations, want to defend democracy, human rights, and social justice, with a particular focus on the right to life, marriage, and the family. The European Institutions in Brussels, Strasbourg, and Luxembourg often seem very remote from the lives of ordinary citizens who do not live and work there. The mass media do not report very much of what is going on in these institutions nor do they explain how they can be influenced. Yet increasingly the European Institutions make decisions that aim at changing or undermining the deeply-held cultural attitudes and moral convictions of many citizens. As a result, citizens often feel like the victims of a new form of colonial rule, in which a small group of technocrats — in close co-operation with a well-oiled machine of lobbyists representing the vested interests of small but well-organised pressure groups — seeks to impose a completely new moral and social order on them.
The information on this website will help citizens all across Europe resist this colonial rule. The information offered here stems directly from Brussels, Strasbourg, and Luxembourg, and is collected and edited by experts who know the EU and the Council of Europe inside out. It can be used by citizens and NGOs across Europe and beyond (and, if necessary, can be translated into other languages and edited) in order to promote the proper understanding of democracy and human rights as defended by AGENDA EUROPE.
The AGENDA EUROPE website consists of two main elements. One is the BLOG, which will provide information on a day-to-day basis. This blog will cover a wide array of issues and provide ready-to-use analysis, as well as legal and political arguments. It will also help our readers follow and develop campaigns on such issues as the pro-life European Citizens’ Initiative “One of Us” or the European Parliament’s infamous “Estrela Report”. The other element comprises a steadily increasing number of permanent pages. Over time, these pages will develop into a small but hopefully very useful encyclopaedia on the issues we are dealing with. During this site’s initial launching period, the scope of these thematic pages is still very limited. But we are confident that it will grow quickly and steadily. In addition, we will be publishing two series: one called MARGINALIA, which will provide you with relevant original documents (e.g. legal texts, legislative proposals, etc.) to which we have added our comments in the side margins, and the other called BRIEFING PAPERS, which offers information on selected topics in a condensed form (never exceeding 2-3 pages).
Our task — which, in the end, is to defend man’s fundamental human dignity — is an immense one; but with the right partners, committed volunteers, and sound and solid arguments, we are confident that Europe may change for the better.