Here is the official recording of my presentation and the subsequent comments by the EU Commission as well as MEPs who are members of the Petitions Committee.
Here’s the draft agenda and here is the article by the resident Telegraph reporter Bruno Waterfield:
- Parents fight British social services ‘gag’ to petition European Parliament:
- Britain’s social services “unique” in EU for “threatening and bullying” of parents who speak out against forced adoption of their children, say MEPs.
Furthermore, The Telegraph published:
- 15/11/2014: Adoptions collapse after judge denounces ‘sloppy’ social workers – The Government’s flagship adoptions policy lies in ruins
- 12/11/2014: The adoption crisis is a legacy of target culture – Rules intended to speed up the process have led to fewer children finding a suitable home
But do also watch the three individual petitioners who follow!
Remember: Petition 1707 / 2013 is based on
- Systemic Patterns of Child Snatching and Forced Adoptions in the UK,
- this Dossier of Online Evidence and
- this online petition.
The Chairperson Cecilia WIKSTROM from Sweden closed by wanting to address the issue “With our brains cool, but our hearts warm.” However, she cut me short after 5 of my 12 slides.
But the Commission offered the meeting that I asked for as a solution, even though they don’t have the budget to pay for travelling.
The following MEPs made very relevant points to address the challenge:
Sofia SAKORAFA – Greece
- there is no relationship more sacred than the relationship between parents and children!
- the principle that the ‘best interest of the child’ is always preserved by looking at the broader picture and not only the exclusively legal dimension
- we can call for legislation to be crafted and adopted
- with migrants there may be an economic problem
- given the anxiety of the parents, the focus must be on the children AND the parents.
Jude KIRTON-DARLING – UK
- petitions relating to children should be ‘fast tracked’
- public concerns relating to historic child abuse in care homes
- problems with adoption and the Rights of the Child have to be taken very seriously
- the number of petitions suggests that there is something going on which is worrying
- child protection, adoption and care processes need to be put into the European cross-border perspectives
- a more detailed investigation is required as well as a more detailed response from the UK government relating to some of the cases
- the dimension of European Human Rights needs to be addressed
- seek a legal opinion from the Legal Affairs Committee regarding the Brussells II regulation.
Renate WEBER – Romania
- this is like Argentina or Chile of Pinochet
- a thorough investigation is important
- regarding the “best interest of the child”: WHO IS DECIDING what is the best interest!?
- a more accurate criterion may be “not to endanger a child” correct
- are we talking about adoption or foster care?
- doesn’t adoption require a decision of a court and the consent of the parents?
Yana TOOM – Estonia
- a number of cases are not reported to the Consul
- we do not have enough information about what is going on
- PETI Commission could commission research
- the Commission’s response “we cannot do anything” is not ‘constructive’.
Tatjana ZDANOKA – Latvia
- the UK is unique
- unfortunately things are going very badly when addressing British authorities
- the letter of the previous Chairperson from July 2014 was only responded to now in November, but dated 10 October 2014
- a meeting between the Committee Chairperson and Frans Timmermans, Vice-President of the European Commission will tackle the questions
- since the freedom of movement is prohibited, it is definitely an EU issue.
Peter JAHR – Germany
We have to hear both sides:
- the official line is ‘everything is ok’ in the UK
- the UK will treat it with a ‘closed shop’ approach
- we should organise a hearing
- politics begins by taking a look at the real world
- we need the wisdom of the Legal Affairs Committee, given the complexities
- no doubt the member state will dig in their heels
- in all fairness, it’s not just the UK: Denmark and Germany, too
- it pains me when petitioners come to us and hope that this is the right place and we need to take practical steps.
Following my presentation and discussion until 16:43, a Dutch father of Russian Jewish origin, a Polish mother and the sister of this Lithuanian mother presented their petitions. The Polish mother said
I am here on behalf of defenceless children and intimidated parents.
Following our presentation on 19 March 2014, thanks to contact with Tatjana Zdanoka, MEP from Latvia, I organised meetings with members of the Petitions Committee before my 5-minute presentation, scheduled for Tuesday 11 November at 16.00. In addition to the ones who contributed to the discussion, Mary Rooney and I saw these MEPs and / or their assistants:
When the Commission steps in, it means Justice and Fundamental Rights should have a chance!
On the day of the Petitions Committee meeting, the Austrian Times published: The UK Child Snatch that caused a diplomatic row.