A response from Marie Panayotopoulos-Cassiotou MEP
Dear Members of Cranmer's blogspot,
I would like to draw your attention on some inaccurate information that is mentioned in your article " The EU challenges faith-based education" which was published on your website on the 16th of January 2008.
First of all regarding the EU report entitled "towards an EU Strategy on the rights of the child" which your article is mentioning, I would like to highlight that I was draftswoman on behalf of the Women's Rights Committee of the European Parliament but not draftswoman for the main report which was the responsibility of the Civil Liberties Committee where the rapporteur was Mrs Roberta Angelilli.
Secondly, you refer to paragraph 127 of the report which recommends the banning of headscarves and hijabs for girls at least in primary school. This paragraph was indeed included in the draft version of the report (which you seem to have received) and originates from members of another political group of the Parliament and certainly not from me. I actually fully share the views that you have expressed on your website regarding this paragraph and its consequences.
I would however like to point out that in the plenary vote of the report that took place last week in the European Parliament in Strasbourg (16 January) this paragraph was rejected by a large majority of Parliamentarians and is therefore not mentioned anymore in the final text. For your information, I am attaching the report as adopted in plenary.
I would very much appreciate if you could bring the necessary changes to your article in order to avoid the spreading of inaccurate information.
I would like to thank you in advance for your diligence and understanding,
Member of the European Parliament
ASP 8E 217- Rue Wiertz-B-1047-Bruxelles
Tél: (+32) 22847447-Fax (+32) 22849447
Cranmer would like to point out that while Ms Panayotopoulos-Cassiotou is concerned to emphasise that the paragraph attributed to her which so tested His Grace’s readers and communicants ‘originates from members of another political group of the Parliament’, both the individuals and the group remain unidentified.
Cranmer was going to work out the Greek for ‘passing the buck’, but blogger seems unable to cope with the font, and His Grace is rather too busy today with weddings and funerals.
But the final version of the document which was adopted by the 'EU Parliament' includes a section on 'Children and democracy', and Cranmer couldn't help noticing that the EU:
188. Stresses that the position of children in non-democratic States is very precarious and calls on the Commission to give consideration to this group of people;
189. Calls on the Commission to look into the issue of raising the political awareness of children and young people in third countries where democracy is restricted, so that they can develop into politically aware citizens;
190. Calls on the Commission to stress the importance of young people being able to voice their opinions on a voluntary basis through (political) youth organisations;
Since the EU is itself not merely undemocratic but fundamentally anti-democratic, are they calling for children to be educated about this fact?
So if whatever Euro-authority is monitoring Cranmer's august blog would care to forward that enquiry to some unsuspecting Euro-official, His Grace would be appreciative of the enlightenment.