par Mondo, Emilie
Référence International Conference of Europeanists (24th: July 12-14, 2017: University of Glasgow, UK)
Publication Non publié, 2017-07-12
Communication à un colloque
Résumé : Human dignity has been institutionalised in EU treaties. Politically consensual but culturally sensitive, it is increasingly challenged by the growing politicisation of morality issues at the supranational level. For example, human dignity underlies fierce debates on abortion and human embryonic stem cell research. Both issues pertain to the definition of human life from the early conception of an embryo. In this context, the secular – but not value-free – notion of human dignity is embraced by various political, social and religious actors seeking to defend specific worldviews. This paper investigates the role of human dignity in the EU governance of bioethics. It sheds light on the political uses of human dignity and its relative meanings (e.g. embryo’s v. woman’s dignity). As bioethics gives rise to ideological struggles between liberals and conservatives, the study also evaluates the consensus-building, or conflict-breaking, potential of human dignity. In order to study the discursive and competitive effects of this value in EU bioethics politics, I rely on a qualitative discourse analysis of semi-structured interviews with (religious) civil society organizations, MEPs and Commission’s civil servants. The data sample is supplemented by policy papers, plenary debates and official documents. The timeframe of the research runs from the adoption of the 2002 Van Lancker report on sexual and reproductive health and rights, to the 2012 European citizens’ initiative ‘One of Us.’ The results show that the very sharing of common principles – human dignity – might not be enough to reach consensus. Contentious beliefs sustain framing strategies which feed culture war dynamics in the contest for the definition of a European community of values.