WRITTEN DECLARATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT FOR A UNIVERSAL MORATORIUM ON EXECUTIONS
January 16, 2007: the leaders of all political groups of the European Parliament, with the exception of the extreme right, have signed a declaration for a universal moratorium on capital punishment in view of its abolition. The declaration supports the Italian initiative to the United Nations. Radical party members Marco Panella and Marco Cappato, who proposed the declaration text, emphasised how the level of unanimity is without precedent in the European Parliament.
Due to the intiative of Graham Watson (Leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe), signatories to the declaration include Joseph Daul, President of the Group of the European People's Party, Martin Schultz, President of the Socialist Group, Cristiana Muscardini, President of the Union for Europe of the Nations Group, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, President of the Group of the Greens, Francis Wurtz, President of the Confederal Group of the European United Left and Jens-Peter Bonde, President of the Independence/Democracy Group.
In the coming hours, the proposed declaration will be sent to all parliamentarians. With the signature of the majority of European Parliament, the declaration will be formally approved. The groups whose presidents have signed the document include 750 of the 785 members. Having already reached the 393 required for a majority, the radical exponents said âthere isnât any doubt: politically, the Declaration is already fully representative.â
The declaration asks the Commission, the Council and the Member States: to support the request to reopen the item on the death penalty at the current UN General Assembly; to submit - on behalf of the EU, through its Member States represented - a proposal for a resolution on a universal moratorium on executions with a view to total abolition; to seek maximum support from UN Member States for the resolution; to do everything in their capacity to obtain a positive vote by the current General Assembly as soon as possible.
Marco Pannella and Marco Cappato were the first signatories. In the following hours, signatures of the other European Parliamentarians will be collected. (Sources: Apcom, Radicali.it, 16/01/2007)