Category Archives: European Consciousness

Crisis-managing through the Basic Law

This article was posted in European Consciousness, Guest authors.
Law - image: Wikimedia

Law - image: Wikimedia

Analysis by Mráz Ágoston Sámuel, Nézőpont Intézet

What the Basic Law does not imply: 5 fake debates

(1) The alleged ban on abortion
The Constitution declares the protection of foetal life, but it does not entail the ban on abortion. Besides the fact that such a ban would probably be impossible in the European Union, a foetus is not considered to have legal capacity in the Constitution, only “people” are. (Art. XV.) This means that murder cannot be committed on a foetus. The new Basic Law may and will act against abortion only by recording the protection (Art. L) of foetal life and the family – “as the basis for the survival of the nation” – as well as supporting child-bearing. Continue reading

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De la détention à la vulnérabilité

This article was posted in European Consciousness, Solidarity.
image: JRS Belgium

image: JRS Belgium

Le JRS-Belgium vient de publier “De la détention à la vulnérabilité” (PDF).

Ce rapport présente les résultats spécifiques à la Belgique de la recherche européenne DEVAS (Detention of Vulnerable Asylum Seekers) dont l’objectif était d’identifier les facteurs qui accentuent ou atténuent la vulnérabilité des demandeurs d’asiles et migrants irréguliers dans les centres de détention. Cette recherche a eu lieu dans 21 pays de l’Union Européenne.

La spécificité de cette recherche est qu’elle a pris comme point de départ l’expérience des personnes détenues. Continue reading

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CALL Network: Second General Assembly in Bucharest

This article was posted in European Consciousness, Solidarity.
CALL network - image: KEK

CALL network - image: KEK

From 11th to 13th May 2011, the ecumenical CALL Network (Church Action on Labour and Life) held its second General Assembly in Bucharest under the hospitality of AIDRom, the Ecumenical Association of Churches in Romania, which focuses on social and economic issues, serving those in need in Romanian society. It was an opportunity to take stock of the work carried out by the network since last year, to visit three social works where AIDRom is involved, to hear representatives from the churches, the State and from civil society give us their vision of the state of the Romanian society today, and to attend a workshop on “empowering people”. The General Assembly finished by issuing a Communiqué encouraging Churches to engage more actively in promoting solidarity in Europe. Continue reading

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Regards éthiques sur l’Union européenne

This article was posted in European Consciousness.

Book cover - image: Verlag Peter Lang

Book cover - image: Verlag Peter Lang

I. Berten, G. Fragnière, P. D. Grosjean, P. Knauer, D. Spoel, F. Turner, Regards éthiques sur l’Union européenne, 254 p.

Dans l’union européenne tout projet de législation doit être examiné s’il correspond au principe de proportionnalité. Ce principe de proportionnalité est ici interprété comme le principe fondamental de l’éthique. Il demande de minimiser les dommages ou charges pour qui que ce soit. Sont irresponsables toutes les actions qui, étant objectivement contreproductives sous un regard universalisant, manquent de proportionnalité. Ce principe est alors appliqué aux grands domaines de l’Union européenne elle-même: l’économie et les finances, la sécurité et la défense, l’environnement naturel, la démocratie participative, la solidarité. On plaide pour une union plus cohérente. La souveraineté doit être exercée plus en commun, et la citoyenneté européenne avec ces droits de participation demande d’être promue davantage.

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Christian Witness and Action

This article was posted in European Consciousness, Ignatian perspectives.

FCJ logo

FCJ logo

Saturday, May 21st 2011
10.00 – 16.00

Presenter: Frank Turner SJ
Director of the Jesuit European Office (OCIPE), Brussels

In many modern states, the public space is ‘secular’, with a clear distinction between religion and state. The state and public institutions aspire to be impartial, both between religions themselves and between religious and non-religious views of the world. The public witness of Christian churches therefore proceeds through dialogue, and their action through consent.

Especially in Europe, however, some societies promote not merely secularity but ‘secularism’ – the exclusion of religious belief and expression from public life.

Through a mixture of input and of group and plenary discussion, we shall explore this shifting public context of Christian mission, and consider how the church can, should – and should not – contribute to public and political debates. Continue reading

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The Peace Process as a Challenge to the EU

This article was posted in European Consciousness.
Israeli and Palestinian flags - image: wikimedia

Israeli and Palestinian flags - image: wikimedia

Talk given at the Chapel of the Resurrection, Brussels

Not only is this issue highly complicated, in my experience it is almost unique. On other issues, people can be tentative, can admit ignorance. On this, almost everyone has a strong opinion. Conflicting views are held passionately by the parties involved, especially since the different peoples of this region have endured terrible suffering.  One can scarcely hope to be free from all distortion, even by the very choice of what to mention and what to leave out.

I want to stress also that my own direct experience is both very limited, and out-of-date: I speak neither Hebrew nor Arabic. I made about 8 visits over 5 years, up to 2004. (Explain my then role – vis-a-vis CBCEW and then Patriarch Sabbah, arranging conferences, and with the bishops visiting the two presidents – Moshe Katsav, now in prison, and Yasser Arafat.) I knew Jerusalem, but not the secular Israel of Tel Aviv and the northern coast. When I was last there, the Separation Wall had not yet been completed. In terms of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, I visited Bethlehem often, Ramallah a few times, Gaza twice. I continue to follow the issues, but necessarily at a distance. Continue reading

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L’Europe au milieu du gué

This article was posted in European Consciousness.
Car in snow - image: cory.cousins (cc: by-nc-nd)

Car in snow - image: cory.cousins (cc: by-nc-nd)

En ce début d’année 2011, l’Europe ressemble à ces puissants véhicules mal équipés qui, malgré le ronflement de leurs moteurs, sont condamnés à faire du surplace quand les routes sont trop enneigées. Notre continent en effet ne parvient pas à retrouver la confiance des marchés et la ferveur des opinions publiques; du coup il se trouve devant un certain nombre d’obstacles que ses dirigeants ne parviennent pas à franchir. Continue reading

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The Council on discrimination on the basis of religion

This article was posted in European Consciousness.
Consilium - image: wikimedia

Consilium - image: wikimedia

Download the original document: Council Conclusions on intolerance, discrimination and violence on the basis of religion or belief

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“Caritas Europa” in the World of Today

This article was posted in European Consciousness, Solidarity.

Caritas Europa - image: Caritas Europa

Caritas Europa - image: Caritas Europa

A talk by Frank Turner at the Caritas Europa meeting

I am honoured to be invited to join you today. To introduce myself: throughout my years as a Jesuit priest, I’ve worked in the area of faith and justice. I was a university teacher of ‘political theology’ – that discipline that takes politics, not only as the object of theological reflection, but as a source of theological reflection. But for the last thirteen years I have worked mainly in international affairs. I know Caritas Europa and CIDSE through my work here in Brussels, where the Jesuit European Office works on political affairs of the EU. I have also been on the Board of Trustees for CAFOD since 1998: and one Africa-related advocacy project of our office receives funding from CAFOD and SCIAF – and soon, we hope, from Misereor. So Caritas is important to me! Continue reading

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“Europe 2020″: La nouvelle stratégie décennale européenne

This article was posted in European Consciousness.
Europe 2020 - image: European Commission

Europe 2020 - image: European Commission

Même pour ceux des citoyens qui s’intéressent peu aux questions européennes, la ville de Lisbonne est assez spontanément associée au Traité du même nom, entré en vigueur le 1er décembre 2009. Bien moins connue est la “stratégie de Lisbonne”, lancée le 24 mars 2000 lors du Conseil Européen tenu en cette ville. Encore plus confidentielle est la nouvelle stratégie décennale “Europe 2020″, actuellement en phase de finalisation et qui devrait être définitivement approuvée dans ses détails, notamment en termes d’objectifs spécifiques assignés à chaque Etat Membre, lors du Conseil Européen de décembre 2010.
Cet article vise à présenter cette nouvelle stratégie. Dans un premier temps, il apparaît toutefois indispensable de revenir sur la stratégie de Lisbonne elle-même, son objectif et les difficultés rencontrées dans sa mise en œuvre, avec à la clef, un résultat plutôt décevant, pour comprendre le contexte dans lequel la stratégie “Europe 2020″ a été élaborée. Continue reading

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