Brussels, the 21st of January 2021

The President of FAFCE, Vincenzo Bassi, and its Honorary President, Antoine Renard, sent an open letter to French President Emmanuel Macron, in reaction to his speech to the European Parliament this week. The speech marked the beginning of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union. In it, President Macron stated that he wants to update the Charter of Fundamental Rights by enshrining in it a so-called “right to abortion.”

The President and the Honorary President of FAFCE highlighted the inherent contradictions within the French President’s proposals:

While on the one hand you speak of a ‘rule of law that is existential for our Europe’, on the other hand you propose to enshrine in the Charter of Fundamental Rights a practice that is illegal in several EU Member States.

Similarly, you rightly point out that this Charter has enshrined ‘the abolition of the death penalty throughout the Union’, yet you wish to recognise as a fundamental right a practice that is considered by many citizens a fatal act of violence against our most vulnerable members.

The recognition of an alleged right to abortion would moreover be in flagrant contradiction to the Charter itself, which enshrines in its first two articles the inviolability of human dignity and the right to life.

They are also concerned by “the shrinking freedom of all who, in accordance with science, believe that human life begins at conception“. It is to wonder, according to them, if we should “fear that limits will be imposed on the freedom to take responsibility for new life before birth, by accompanying mothers and families in difficulty“.

FAFCE invites the French President not to spend this European semester on “political and ideological purposes“. As Presidents Bassi and Renard wrote on behalf of the Federation, “We prefer you to work for the common good of our peoples, our families and our children, who are the future of Europe. Our Federation, together with all people of good will, puts itself at the service of the institutions to work together constructively, respecting the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. If these common touchstones are lacking, words such as ‘values’ and ‘democracy’, so dear to you, will be emptied of their meaning“.

FAFCE had already, at the beginning of the month, expressed its regrets at the absence of family issues among the priorities of the French presidency of the EU. The latest position of the French President only confirms this absence.

Read the full text of the Open Letter