European Council Declaration on Banning the Cloning of Human Beings (1997), Bulletin of the European Union 22 (June 1997)

European Council notes that the growth of new technologies in the area of genetic engineering poses acute ethical problems. Among the most recent developments, cloning presents specific and very serious dangers.

Whilst recalling the great importance of research of this fundamental area, in particular for improving public health, and its willingness to pursue the support action carried out in this area by the European Community, the European Council is also determined to show increased vigilance as regards the dangers which may arise from an ethical viewpoint.

Considering in particular that the protection of the human being and respect for the integrity of the human being are essential principles to which no exception can be made, the European Council invites the Council and the Commission, when defining Community policies, in particular on research and intellectual property, and when implementing existing programmes, to consider how human cloning may be prevented. The European Council invites them, in carrying out this task, to call upon the expertise of the Group of Advisors on the Ethical Implications of Biotechnology which, in its opinion delivered on 29 May, stated that the cloning of human beings should be condemned unequivocally at European level.

The European Council also stresses the determination of the Member States, for their part, to take all measures necessary to prohibit human cloning.

Discussions are also in progress in several bodies, including UNESCO and the United Nations Commission of Human Rights. The Committee on Science and Technology of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has also expressed its interest in this issue. The European Council therefore calls on the European Union and the Member States to contribute to these discussions within the framework of their respective powers.

1. Under Article 5 of Protocol 11, this obligation does not apply to the United Kingdom unless it moves to the third stage; the obligation under Article 109e (4) to endeavour to avoid excessive deficits shall continue to apply to the United Kingdom.


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