BRUSSELS, September 17, 2013 ( – An international European petition to the European Union to recognise the personhood of the human embryo, even at the earliest stages of developmental life, has reached its goal of one million signatures, the group behind the petition announced this week. 

The proposal calls for a ban on the EU’s “financing of activities which presuppose the destruction of human embryos, in particular in the areas of research, development aid and public health.” 

The One of Us campaign had to receive 1 million signatures before November 1st in order to force a debate in the European Parliament under the EU's Citizen’s Initiative provision. As of today, 1,013,182 European citizens have signed to “express the concern of European society as a whole on the need of greater protection of the human embryo,” the One of Us campaign said.

The One of Us campaign is only the second European Citizens’ Initiative to reach the required 1 million signatures established by the Commission. 


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“We are closer to our objective, namely to change the future of the embryonic stem cell research industry across Europe, defend the life of the weakest and protect human life,” the campaign said in a press release. 

The project, which had been endorsed by Pope Benedict XVI, aims to “advance the protection of human life from conception in Europe – within the possibilities of the competency of the EU”. 

It was launched at the 2012 Global Pro-Life Unity Summit in Portugal, which proposed to instigate a new “pro-life paradigm for the 21st century”. 

One of the intitative’s leading promoters, the NGO European Dignity Watch, said in a media release today that citizens from all 28 member states have “expressed their disaccord with the highly controversial EU-funding of embryonic stem cell research by signing the petition”. 

“This success is, at the same time, a strong cross-European consensus on the need for a greater protection of the human embryo.” 

“With this achievement,” the group noted, “‘One of us’ becomes the second European Citizen’s Initiative ever to meet the requirements established by the Commission for being an official European petition.”