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Mum Dad & Kids: Complaint to European Ombudsman Continues to Next Stage

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A European Citizens’ Initiative [ECI] is a petition established by the European Union, providing the opportunity for Europe’s citizens to initiate new legislation at the European Union level, if one million signatures are gathered within a year. The Mum Dad & Kids initiative is one such petition, which has the aim of defending marriage as between one man and one woman, as well as highlighting that children do better with a mother and a father.

The initiative, of which Christian Concern’s Andrea Williams is the United Kingdom’s national coordinator, and the Christian Legal Centre’s Roger Kiska is Vice-President and Deputy Representative of the Europe-wide initiative, did indeed gather 1 million signatures within a 12-month period.

However, the European Commission rejected the 12-month time-limit in May, stating that the 12-month collection time began at the time of registration, rather than with the commencement of signature collection.

The Commission has made no secret of its hostile attitude towards Mum Dad & Kids and its goal to legally defend family-centred marriage. As reflected in the minutes of the Commission’s 2149th weekly meeting, in which it announced that Mum Dad & Kids had been registered, the Commission indicated that it regretted having to register the initiative and offered an apologetic explanation that it was doing so solely because it was legally bound to.

Speaking thereafter at an event hosted by LGBT campaign group ILGA in Brussels, the Vice-President of the Commission, Franz Timmermans, expressed his belief that all EU member states should have “the decency” to recognise same-sex marriage. He also called for the Commission to lobby for same-sex marriages across the 28-nation bloc.

Nonetheless, the Commission’s brazen undermining of the Mum Dad & Kids ECI has not gone unchallenged.

Mum Dad & Kids filed a complaint regarding maladministration against the Commission to the Ombudsman of the European Union. The coordinators of the ECI have now been given notice that the complaint has been deemed admissible and will be heard on its merits.

Shockingly, just this week, the very same Commission that has maligned the Mum Dad & Kids ECI, and cut short its collection period by 3 months to ensure that all 1 million signatures were not counted, released a working document announcing its intention to extend future ECI time-periods to include the additional 3 months, which Mum Dad & Kids has all along argued was statutorily required, and from which more than ten other ECIs have benefited.

Mum Dad & Kids has forwarded the working document to the Ombudsman noting the bad faith shown to the ECI by the Commission.

Andrea Williams commented:

“While the marriage culture in Europe is dying, we are given great hope by the 1 million people across Europe who have stood up and defended marriage by way of this initiative.

“Given recent developments, we urge the Ombudsman to find in favour of Mum Dad & Kids and protect this important initiative.”

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