Monday 18. January 2021



This is the outcome of the debate:



Call on the new MEPs:


>> Prioritise funding of adult stem cell research within the EU Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020




Having regard to the facts

that the EU Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020 allows for the possibility of funding research activities on human embryonic stem cells (hESC). Since such research activities presuppose the destruction of human embryos, they - as well as their funding itself - are ethically unacceptable. In addition, from a scientific point of view, research involving the use of hESC has so far been rather disappointing, and has failed to fulfil clinical promise. On the other hand, there are alternative sources of stem cells (adult, derived from umbilical cord or induced pluripotent) which are more promising and less controversial.


Reflecting on Christian Social Thinking

which stresses that human life is to be protected from the moment of conception to that of natural death and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. The Encyclical Evangelium Vitae (1995, 63) states in this respect that  “the use of human embryos or fetuses as an object of experimentation constitutes a crime against their dignity as human beings who have a right to the same respect owed to a child once born, just as to every person”.


Taking into consideration the opinions of interested citizens

who in their contributions pointed out that the protection of life must stand above all scientific objectives. Furthermore, the consulted citizens indicated that in view of the limited financial means, the EU funding should not support such highly controversial research activities, but instead it should focus on widely accepted and more promising initiatives.




1. According to Article 182 TFEU, the EU shall adopt a multiannual framework programme establishing the scientific and technological objectives and determining the financial participation of the EU regarding the activities designed to achieve them.


2. The European Citizens’ Initiative “One of Us” with more than 1.8 million signatures collected in the 28 EU Member States requests the EU to exclude from its funding research projects that involve or presuppose the destruction of human embryos.


3. The European Court of Justice in the case Greenpeace v. Brüstle reaffirmed the legal protection of the human embryo, defined as “any human ovum after fertilisation“, and confirmed that biotechnological inventions using hESC cannot be patented.


4. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012 awarded for research on alternatives to human embryonic stem cell research recognised the key role of non-embryonic stem cells for the development of new medical therapies.


5. Funding of research involving the use of hESC not only increases  human embryo-destructive research activities, but it also diverts resources from alternative stem cell research, with all its benefits and advantages.



We call on the new MEPs 


to ensure that the EU makes funding of alternative stem cells a priority within its Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 and removes from it the existing legal possibility for funding of human embryonic stem cell research.



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and submit to them the proposal






 ...and this was the discussion:


What´s your position on the policy proposal:


"Stop EU funding of research activities on human embryonic stem cells"



Targeted Institutions: European Commission, European Parliament, Council of the European Union


Background: The EU Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020 allows for the possibility of funding research on human embryonic stem cells. This is not only ethically but also juridically wrong and scientifically outdated.


Aim: End the financing of research activities which presuppose the destruction of human embryos by removing the current legal possibility for EU funding of embryonic stem cell research under the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020.



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