Monday, 11 May 2009

European Union: Non-confessional ethics uninteresting?

The Treaty of Lisbon is not yet in force, but in many instances it is the updated compilation of how the European Union is supposed to act.

Let us take Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) 9.5.2008 C 115/55:


Article 17 TFEU

1. The Union respects and does not prejudice the status under national law of churches and religious associations or communities in the Member States.

2. The Union equally respects the status under national law of philosophical and non-confessional organisations.

3. Recognising their identity and their specific contribution, the Union shall maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with these churches and organisations.


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Faith based dialogue

Today the Commission has issued two press releases:

Presidents of Commission and Parliament discuss ethical contributions for European and global economic governance with European faith leaders (Brussels, 11 May 2009; IP/09/730)



Presidents of Commission and Parliament will discuss ethical contributions for European and global economic governance with European faith leaders on 11 May 2009 - Participants' list (Brussels, 11 May 2009; MEMO/09/227).




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In these trying times, we are given the impression that worthy contributions were made by Commission President José Manuel Barroso and EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering as well as the representatives of the Anglican Church, the Churches of the Reformation, the Conference of European Churches, the Islamic Communities, the Jewish leaders, the Orthodox Churches and the Roman Catholic Church.


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Non-confessional ethics?

Article 17 TFEU includes the philosophical and non-confessional organisations in the open, transparent and regular dialogue maintained by the European Union.

The Commission made no mention of these organisations.



Ralf Grahn