By Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

ROME, November 11, 2008 ( – European Union member states are being ruled by an unelected body of elites in Brussels, without the right to reject or significantly modify 80 per cent of their laws, an EU parliamentarian said late last week. Mrs. Katherine Sinnott, the Member of the European Parliament for Ireland South, told a conference in Rome that the European Parliament has become a profoundly anti-democratic institution that threatens the rights of the unborn and the family.

Sinnott, a disability rights campaigner and MEP since 2004, told the 5th conference of Catholic Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, organized by MaterCare International (MCI) near the Vatican on Thursday, that in the Republic of Ireland, 80 per cent of the laws that go through the Dail (the national parliament) originate from non-Irish MEPs in Brussels. In Germany the estimate is 83 per cent.

In recent years, the EU has significantly shifted the process of lawmaking in Europe away from democratically elected individuals at the national level, to a small group of ideologically left-leaning elites who are fundamentally opposed to democratic principles, the sovereign rights of individual nations and to natural marriage and the right to life.

“Lawmakers increasingly are anyone above the citizens and those that they directly elect,” she said. “And we have to point out that this is true even at the national level.”

“It is only transpositions of laws already passed in Brussels” that come into effect in Ireland, she said. And Irish lawmakers have no right to vote to reject these laws. “Only 20 per cent or less of the laws in the national parliament, created by the people we actually elect, are original laws.” Furthermore, those laws that are passed in Brussels and transposed to the member states may not be significantly changed, and only those changes that are approved by the EU Commission and Council are tolerated.

In addition, she told the conference, there is little hope of an objective or unbiased judiciary at the international level. “The actual stated job,” she said, “of the European Court of Justice, the EU’s court, is to promote the ‘European project’.”

The Court of Justice, she said, is an ideologically motivated body that will use international agreements and treaties and decide the interpretation that “will promote the European project. Not, ‘what do those words truly mean’ and ‘what do case law tell us about them’.”

Sinnott said that this situation represents a significant threat to the legal protections for the unborn that are written into the Irish constitution. She told that this threat was a critical factor in the rejection of the proposed Lisbon Treaty by the Irish referendum in June.

Sinnott also observed that the increasing influence of the EU poses a threat to the rights of children and families in a variety of other ways. The rights of the child, for example, are interpreted by the EU in a way that excludes any mention of the right of a child to be reared within the context of a loving natural family. She cited the work done on a committee report on the rights of children, based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In the published report, she said, “the word ‘family’ was never mentioned’.”

“It took me 13 amendments to get the word ‘family’ in twice. I am still not sure that the word family will stay in past the Council or it will be those 20 per cent of amendments that are removed.”

Sinnott, who identified herself not as an anti-EU “Euroskeptic,” but as an “EU-reformist,” also confirmed to that the EU is desperate to pass the Lisbon Treaty before the next elections, fearing that public opinion against Lisbon could create a road block against future plans for political expansion. She indicated that the public in Ireland is unlikely to respond positively to a second attempt at passing the Lisbon Treaty in a referendum. The Republic of Ireland is the only EU member state that retained a legal requirement for a referendum after the failure in 2005 of the European Constitution by referenda in France and the Netherlands.

Sinnott said that the Lisbon Treaty, and the aggressively secularist government it supports, is regarded by many in Ireland as a threat to the traditional Christian foundation of Irish society.

“The young people in Ireland voted in numbers that they never anticipated and they voted 2 to 1 against the direction that Europe was going in. Not against Europe but against the direction that Europe was going in.”

The Lisbon Treaty, she said, extends the “competence of Europe to virtually every area of life.” She cited the case of a Danish MEP who asked the constitutional courts in his country if there were any part of life not affected by the Lisbon Treaty, in Danish law or the Danish constitution. “The only thing that they could come up with after days and days of studying it, was the position of the [Lutheran] Church in Denmark. But even that, on closer scrutiny, was subject to EU law.”

“So, there was nothing. That 20 per cent will very quickly erode to 0 per cent, which would be the end of democracy at the national level as well.”

There is a profound disconnect between the EU elites and the people of Europe, she said. One area particularly that this rift is evident is that of religion. “For me, the freedom of religion is very much, as a human right, the right to live your duty to God as you best understand that and the freedom to do that because it is an essential need of the human person to honour, interact and have a relationship with this God.”

But “increasingly,” in the EU, “freedom of religion, means from religion.”

Sinnott worked in the EU parliament to institute directives on disability and age to bolster legal protections for vulnerable persons. But this work was high jacked, she said, by EU officials who said that disability rights and protections for the aged should be put together with an “across the board discrimination directive” that included “ethnicity, language, religion and sexual orientation,” thus creating an equivalency between disability rights and homosexuality according to the demands of the homosexual activists.

This meant, she said, that “if you are a Catholic school, you have no right to pick an employee on the basis that they actually know or care anything about Catholicism.”

“Or, if you are MaterCare [the pro-life physicians’ organisation] you have no right to discriminate against a doctor in your charity who believes in abortion. It also includes the right to not be offended by a Christmas crib in the town square or by the words “God bless you”. ‘Bless you’ will actually be a hate crime.”