The enduring financial and economic crisis has provoked renewed anxiety about the economic ideologies that shape modern society, stimulating both critique and the attempt to explore new options – and seemingly, old ones.
On August 30th, the news agency Zenit, linked with the Holy See, published an interview with John Medaille a ‘neo-distributist’ from the USA, who wants to reclaim an economic model known as ‘distributism’. This was articulated by English-speaking Catholic thinkers of the early twentieth century, drawing on the social teaching of Popes Leo XIII and Pius XI. Its perspectives have informed later Catholic Social Teaching, and have prompted recent political ideas such as David Cameron’s ‘Big Society. They lie at the heart of the social practice of the rapidly growing ecclesial movement ‘Comunione e Liberazione’. Continue reading
Ten years working together for Europe
On October 20th John Dardis, former provincial in Ireland, will take over as new President of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials (CEP). It’s the end of 10 years being President myself. It was a wonderful time! But what is the main task of the President of the Conference? He has to promote, to improve all kind of collaboration between Jesuit provinces in Europe, and to do so he has to motivate the provincials. This is a job that’s not so easy, when you know that there are about 26 provinces – plus the Russian Region – with more than 20 languages and very different cultures and histories with conflict situations. But how can we improve and strengthen collaboration if we don’t know each other? Continue reading
Roma personalities - image: Olahus (cc: by-sa)
La France, les Roms et l’Europe
La période estivale a été orageuse pour la présidence française et pour les Roms installés de façon précaire sur le territoire français. Nicolas Sarkozy, affaibli dans les sondages d’opinion, est à la recherche de nouveaux soutiens. Il suscite des réserves chez un certain nombre d’électeurs du centre et une majorité de pratiquants réguliers. Plusieurs évêques, le pape lui-même (cf JEO Septembre 2010), sont sortis de leur réserve au nom du respect des droits pour les étrangers. Ce qui a inquiété l’hôte de l’Elysée et l’a poussé manifestement à solliciter une rencontre avec Benoît XVI début octobre. Continue reading
Field - image: Will Lovell (cc: by-sa)
The Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy
José Ignacio García Jiménez
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is due to be reformed by 2013; during its fifty-year existence the CAP has undergone a constant process of modification, especially in recent decades.
The primary aim of the CAP has remained unchanged, to assure a supply of sufficient, healthy food to the population of the EU. Over time, modifications have been made to tackle the problem of the market distortion caused by the production subsidies and exportation subsidies have been downshifted to promote competition. More recently the CAP has incorporated the criterion of sustainability, stressing how agriculture fulfils public goods (such as the protection of biodiversity and of landscapes), since such goods are not rewarded by the market. Continue reading
Young adults - image: h3nr0 (cc: by)
Youth and employment
José Ignacio García Jiménez
A recent round table in Brussels brought together experts to discuss the difficulties of assuring access to the labour market for young people, and European policy responses.
In many contexts, statistics may mask dramatic realities. In the case of youth unemployment the figures, themselves shocking, do not convey the pain and struggle of millions of young people in Europe who have lost their jobs, or who have never again gained a first access to the labour market. Continue reading
Thorsten Philipp, political scientist and linguist, started on 13 September 2010 as environment policy officer at the Jesuit European Office.
Born in German Rhineland in 1975, Thorsten Philipp studied Romance languages and art history at the universities of Munich, Vienna and Aix-en-Provence. Additionally, in 2002, he completed a political science diploma at the Munich School of Political Science (Hochschule für Politik). His first work experiences in international policy took place in 2003/04 at the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in Vienna, where he was involved in entrepreneurship education programmes for Sub-Saharan countries. From 2006 to 2008, he was assistant at the Institute for Society and Ethics at the Universität der Bundeswehr in Munich. Continue reading
From London to Brussels
I would love to be able to write that “everyone here sends their greetings and is asking for you” but the truth is I can’t remember a time when there has been so little talk about you here, when “the question of Europe” has been so very quiet.
That is probably good news, though, because when Europe is in the news here it is usually with a negative slant – bureaucrats in Brussels telling us we have to sell our fruit and vegetables in kilograms instead of our beloved pounds and ounces, the creeping transfer of sovereignty from our representatives in Westminster to a European administration that seems remote and less accountable, millions of pounds of our taxpayers’ hard-earned money being spent on subsidising inefficient French farmers – you know the kind of thing. Continue reading
50 years ago
Assemblée Consultative du Conseil de l’Europe, Lettre de l’OCIPE n° 4 – Juin/octobre 1960
Malgré un contexte européen et mondial très différent, des questions et des sentiments d’hier semblent avoir, intacts, traversé le temps jusqu’à aujourd’hui.
Dans la dernière semaine de septembre, s’est tenue à la Maison de l’Europe à Strasbourg, la deuxième partie de la XIIe session ordinaire de l’Assemblée consultative du Conseil de l’Europe.
Pour la 18e fois un projet de recommandation a été déposé pour inviter les gouvernements et le Conseil des Ministres à favoriser la relance du Conseil de l’Europe. Le Conseil de l’Europe recherche des terrains où développer une activité qui aboutisse à des résultats concrets ; il voudrait demeurer la plate-forme et le moteur de l’unité européenne. Continue reading