Macron Wants Abortion Added to EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights

TOPSHOT - France's President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech as he adresses his New Year's wishes to media at the Elysee Palace in Paris on January 11, 2022. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP) (Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
LUDOVIC MARIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron has called for the right to abortion to be added to the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights.

“The right to abortion” should be added to the EU’s legally binding Charter of Fundamental Rights, according to French President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron’s suggestion — which will no doubt raise the ire of Malta, Poland and Hungary — comes shortly after Roberta Metsola, a pro-life MEP, was elected President of the European Parliament.

According to a report by Le Monde, Macron suggests that the right should be added to the charter, along with references to environmental protection, in order to better defend the rule of law.

“Twenty years after the proclamation of our Charter of Fundamental Rights, which notably enshrined the abolition of the death penalty throughout the Union, I hope that we can update this charter, notably to be more explicit on environmental protection or the recognition of the right to abortion,” Macron told the EU Parliament in Strassbourg on Wednesday, according to a translation published by Catholic News Agency.

“Let us open this debate freely with our fellow citizens of great European conscience to give new life to our set of rights that forges this Europe strong in its values, the only future of our common political project,” the French President added.

The suggestion was reportedly met with applause from parliamentarians, according to French broadcaster BFMTV.

Some commentators have seen the move as a subtle jab at the parliament’s new president, the Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola.

Both Politico and El Pais pointed towards Metsola’s pro-life views as being the origin point of Macron’s remarks, despite Metsola herself committing to respect the majority position of the parliament, regardless of her own beliefs.

El Pais also notes that the suggestion will also likely not go down well with Malta and Poland, which both have strict laws against abortion, as well as some eastern bloc states, such as Hungary and Romania, who are wary of the increasing power Brussels has over the bloc.

The legally binding document also requires unanimous agreement from all member states in order for modifications to be made, making it likely that Macron’s aim for abortion to be added to the document will be an uphill battle.

Macron’s comments come as France assumes the presidency of the European Union, a position it will hold until July.

High on Emmanuel Macron’s agenda during this time is reportedly increasing the bloc’s power on the world stage.

“We want to get … a powerful Europe in the world, fully sovereign, free to make its choices and master of its own destiny,” Macron said regarding his vision for the European Union.

Germany’s new government has promised its full support in this endeavour, its coalition agreement mandating officials to move the bloc towards the “federalisation” of Europe.

“Our French friends can count on our support from the first to the last day to lay the right foundations within the EU: for a sustainable economic recovery, in the fight against the climate crisis, in digitization and for a more sovereign Europe in the world,” said Germany’s Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock.

 

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