Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-09-06-Speech-3-226"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, in his speech just now, Mr Fiori made things very clear: he stated clearly that this is a matter of likening religious principles – his own – to the principles of civilisation. For my part, I believe that what the institutions must affirm is the principle of secularity, and they must confirm that what may seem morally unacceptable to some must not by virtue of this be legally discounted. We must make the difference between the law and religious principles clear. If we do not observe this principle, then I fear that there will be no hope for us. Mr President, to return to the matter in hand, we are aware that, in the face of new ideas – even new ideas which seem promising in terms of treatments for illnesses affecting millions and millions of people – the normal, conventional reaction always kicks in: to ban, to crusade, to shout ‘Barbarians!’ without even stopping to ask whether the ban can work, whether it would work or whether we are in a position to ensure that it is observed or to monitor it. It is the same reaction as that which has been aroused by normal social phenomena for a long time now, in matters of abortion, migration or even drugs. We declare a ban and then we wash our hands of the matter. It is my opinion, however, that the responsibility of policy-makers – which may be more difficult, more complex – is to regulate certain issues, set limits and avoid situations out of a western. This is the mandate of the institutions, independently of the religious consciences of any of their Members, where applicable. It is for precisely this reason that we, the Radicals of the Bonino List, feel that we can just about support the compromise of the Group of the European Liberal, Democrat and Reform Party. We want to try and reduce the gap between science and politics, to endeavour to govern new phenomena secularly together with the pragmatism of experimentation and successive approximations, without immediately launching into prohibitionist campaigns which we already know to be ineffective. What we are doing now, exactly as we did in the case of illegal abortion, is merely sparking off, once again, the medical tourism of millions of people who will seek treatment on the black market elsewhere. What I am saying is extremely serious and fills me with concern. Watch out: when applied to science and social phenomena, prohibition has never worked. I believe that it is our responsibility to set the limits, or take on board the risk of setting the limits, of successive approximations without trying to impose any ethical principles – in the case of those who have any – or principles of civilisation. The real civilisation of the institutions is the civilisation of secularity, experimentation and discussion."@en1

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