Doctors and scientists appeal to European Parliament to reconsider the Covid-19 policies regarding children

“Children shall have the right to such protection and care as is necessary for their well-being… In all actions relating to children, whether taken by public authorities or private institutions, the child”s best interests must be a primary consideration.”

Article 24 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

Petition written by Abir Ballan, MPH and Belgian lawyer

Although children have a negligible risk from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, their lives have been upended as a result of the response to Covid-19. Their health and wellbeing is at stake.

132 European doctors and scientists, supported by 57 colleagues from around the world signed the petition.

The petition was based on PANDA’s Declaration for the Protection of children and young people from the Covid-19 response and the All Risk, Zero Benefit campaign.


The goals of the petition included:

  • To get a public hearing in the European Parliament
  • To allow doctors and scientists to testify in front of the European Parliament and European citizens
  • To obtain a resolution to protect children from the harm of the Covid-19 response
Stay up to date

Petition progress

Phase 1

25/01/2022: Petition (No. 0061/2022) lodged by Prof Dr Martin Zizi on behalf of all signatories

Prof Zizi is from Belgium. He has an MD-PhD, Biophysics, Molecular Epidemiology. He is the former CSO of BE DoD, former EU parliament & UN advisor, ex-UNSCOM Bioweapon Inspector, Chair of Bioethical Commission, ex.VUB and KULeuven

26/01/2022: Petition emailed to all MEPs, cc’d to the European Ombudsman and the European Medicine Agency (EMA)

Read the email here

20/04/2022: Online seminar organised by MEPs Michèle Rivasi and Rosa D’Amato, as well as Notre Bon Droit and PANDA, entitled: ‘European Digital Covid Certificate: Assessment and Prospects’- April 20th, 2022 (in French, in English or in Italian)

Phase 2

15/03/2022: Petition allocated(p.8, #4) to the special committee on “COVID-19 pandemic: lessons learned and recommendations for the future” – COVI – (2022/0000(RSO)

This committee is tasked to review the management of the Covid-19 pandemic. See the committee’s mandate and composition. Find COVI’s upcoming meetings & documents and watch the meetings transmitted live on the European Parliament Multimedia Platform.

Summary of the petition published on the EP website (translations available in all EU languages).

The summary is not entirely true to the content of the petition. It omitted the claim of the petition of a potential breach of Article 24 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

22/08/2022: Petition closed without consideration.

Thus it is not open for voting by European citizens and residents.

04/09/2022: Letter sent to the EP to contest closure of the petition and urge for a public hearing
10/10/2022: Complaint (202201846) about maladministration sent to the European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly

Complaint appeals the closure of the petition without discussion and the breach of the right to petition of European citizens.

03/11/2022: Ombudsman replied refusing to investigate the complaint against the EP

“The Ombudsman can only investigate complaints concerning the administrative work of the institutions and bodies of the European Union. The work of the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament is political in nature and is therefore outside the Ombudsman’s mandate”

18/12/2022: COVI: The special committee on Covid-19 discussed matters related to children

Some experts were critical of the Covid-19 policies regarding children. Others advocated for the vaccination of children at high-risk. None of the signatories of this petition were invited to speak.

11/05/2023: Prof Martin Zizi interview with UK COLUMN about the closure of the petition
In the Media
  • October 4, 2022: MEP Michèle Rivasi commits to raise the petition again during the EP special Committee— COVI
  • October 13, 2022: Prof Dr Martin Zizi is considering legal action against the EP due to breach of Article 44 of the EU Charter (minutes 40-56)
  • October 17, 2022: Press release denouncing the breach of Article 44 of the EU Charter – Right to petition

Press release

October 17th, 2022
Children’s petition closed without consideration

The European Parliament closed Petition (No 0061/2022) entitled: Doctors and Scientists Appeal to European Parliament To Reconsider The Covid-19 Policies Regarding Children. The closure took place without any assessment of substance  or justification towards the petitioners. This constitutes a breach of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (Article 44) which guarantees the right of any European citizen to petition the Parliament and receive a response to their  complaint. This regrettable action sets a precedent to limiting the democratic right of European citizens to seek redress on potential breaches of their fundamental rights by EU policies or actions.

To add insult to injury, the summary posted on the European Parliament website is not entirely true to the content of the petition. The summary covers the major arguments of the petition against the vaccination of children for Covid-19 without conducting a risk-benefit analysis. However, it fails to highlight the overarching goal of the petition, which is to uphold the rights of the child and to ensure that the best interests of the child are always at the heart of all public policies. As stated in the petition: 

“We … wish to draw Parliament’s attention to the possible contravention of Article 24 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union as regards the protection of the child and in particular the provision whereby in all actions relating to children, whether taken by public authorities or private institutions, the child’s best interests must be a primary consideration”.

The petition particularly questions the imposition of disproportionate and unscientific measures on children during the Covid-19 pandemic such as school closures, mask mandates, testing, and the interruption of activities and socialisation. 

With this omission, the EP is implying that the petitioners have no case, as no breach of EU law was invoked in the petition. 

Disappointingly, despite contesting the closure, the EP, to date, has refused to hear out the petitioners, rendering moot their right to petition.

This is cause for great concern for every European citizen who believes they live in a democratic society where their fundamental rights are respected, where due process is followed diligently and where the elected representatives are accountable to the people they serve.

This is a time of reckoning for all European citizens and by extension, the citizens of the world. We must ask ourselves: why are our rights no longer relevant before our elected officials, and are we prepared to be powerless citizens in the face of global powers or will we resist?

THE PETITION AT A GLANCE – for more details see here
  • January 25, 2022— petition, signed by 189 prominent doctors and scientists from Europe and the world, lodged 
  • March 15, 2022— petition allocated to the EP Special Committee— COVI
  • August 22, 2022— petition closed without discussion
  • September 4, 2022— letter sent to EP contesting the closure
  • October 10, 2022— complaint (202201846) about maladministration lodged with the European Ombudsman

For further information, please contact PANDA,  [email protected]

Lead Author
Abir Ballan, MPH

Abir has a Masters in Public Health, a graduate degree in special needs education and a BA in psychology. She is a children’s author with 27 published books. She has been an advocate for the inclusion of children with learning difficulties in mainstream schools. She is particularly committed to promoting the health and wellbeing of children and young people.


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