intercultural dialogue

Intercultural dialogue

Latest

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Press Release
21.04.2015 - 17:54
Following the visit of spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to the European Parliament on 21 April, Alojz Peterle MEP, co-host of the event, said: “Sri Sri has helped to transform the lives of many, without changing their spiritual...
György Hölvényi
News
28.01.2015 - 17:30
Following the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Europe became united in deep mourning. Europeans felt threatened not only as individuals but also collectively, as a community - a very natural initial reaction to the tragedy. Though our mourning...
Persecuted Christians in the Middle East (2011)
Press Release
12.12.2014 - 09:40
"The IS is a threat to neighbouring countries but also for the Mediterranean region as a whole, including EU countries", said EPP Group Vice-Chairwoman Mariya Gabriel. The 17th EPP Group Annual Interreligious Dialogue on the...
Northern Nicosia
Press Release
15.10.2013 - 21:05
The EPP Group will discuss in Nicosia, Cyprus, on 17 and 18 October 2013 the role of religions in the process of peace building and conflict resolution in the Mediterranean Region. “At a time when violence and social hostility against...

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Why intercultural dialogue is important

Intercultural Dialogue

Daily events in the world and in Europe continuously highlight the fundamental importance of churches and religious communities in resolving conflict and social peace both on a regional and on a local level. Religious institutions in many ways help create, communicate and protect societal values. By doing so, they exert a significant amount of direct and indirect influence on society. Churches do not operate by themselves but through the people who belong to them. So when we speak about churches, we are not speaking only about institutions, but also about hundreds of millions of people around the world who are believers.

Contacts
Manfred WEBER
Chairman of the EPP Group
 
Supported by
Jan OLBRYCHT
 
 
Staff
 
 

It is important for the EPP Group (Christian-Democrats) to keep contact with the representatives of various religious groups while mutually acknowledging each others’ independence. The EPP Group is the only Group in the European Parliament which has a long-standing dialogue with monotheistic religions such as Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Islam and the Jewish faiths.

In contemporary European and global politics, there are numerous problems that can only be solved by broad social cooperation. The financial crisis, the ever-increasing social tensions and issues related to migration are all global challenges that we are faced with today. It is important for the EPP Group to have knowledge about the thoughts and activities of various religious organisations relating to these issues.Freedom of religion is a basic right. Whether it is speaking against mass persecution of Christians in countries of the Arab Spring, or about helping the increasing numbers of Islamic communities relocating to Europe find their place in the scheme of European principles and values, the EPP Group believes that it is its duty to defend the right to freedom of religion, to openly discuss these issues, bring them closer to the public eye and into the mainstream of European debates. We can only live up to this enormous challenge if we seek opportunities for dialogue and cooperation with the religious communities involved.

The tradition of dialogues started in April 1996 in Constantinople (Istanbul) with HH the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. The fundamental aim of this dialogue, which is to date also enshrined as a legal basis of Article17 of the Lisbon Treaty, is a common responsibility for Europe. Clause 3 of this Article reads:

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

Consequently, both politics and churches need to continuously adapt and refine their actions in order to respond to new challenges.

 

 

Our activities

Through our activities, we build upon a long tradition and commitment to dialogue with churches and religious organisations. Several hundred people, including Members of the European Parliament, religious leaders, government representatives, invited guests and the interested public participate every year at our conferences on religious dialogue. These annual conferences are high-level two-day events that take place once a year outside Brussels and discuss current issues pertinent to intercultural dialogue and the dialogue between religion and politics.

Contacts with highly-respected experts from churches are continuously widened through other public and internal meetings. We organise public hearings on current affairs that fall within the scope of religious dialogue. We also hold internal meetings of the EPP Group Working Group on Intercultural Dialogue where we discuss issues with ecclesiastical leaders and religious experts from around Europe and beyond.

 

 

Publications

Latest

Graffiti Depicts Muammar Gaddafi Demise In Libya
04.02.2016 - 13:55

Stability in Libya means security for Europe

The installation of the government in Tripoli is key to putting an end to the political vacuum and the symbolic and geographical division of the...
Kobani, Syria
04.02.2016 - 12:32

ISIS crimes labelled as genocide by the European Parliament

On the EPP Group's initiative, the abuse and persecution against Christians, Yazidis and other religious and ethnic minorities by the so-called...
World Cancer Day 2016
04.02.2016 - 12:09

World Cancer Day: together we can achieve more

"World Cancer Day is an opportunity to reflect on the multi-stakeholder and multidisciplinary nature of cancer control. We will only be...
Crimea
04.02.2016 - 12:04

Crimea: Russia must stop occupation

"Russia must stop the discrimination against Crimean Tatars, withdraw from Crimea and allow the Ukraine to re-establish its control over the...

Highlights of the week

01.02.2016 - 04.02.2016
EU flags in front of European Parliament

European Council meeting to focus on refugee crisis and UK negotiations

The management of the refugee crisis will be the main topic of the February European Council meeting. The EPP Group Chairman, Manfred Weber MEP, will...
migrants minutes after arriving on Greek island Lesbos. Turkish shore visible in background

Debate on Schengen and refugee crisis

The refugee crisis, the current and future situation of the Schengen area, external border controls and financing the refugee facility for Turkey...
Starbucks/FIAT

Corporate Tax Package

The EPP Group welcomes the European Commission's law proposals on how to fight tax avoidance by companies operating in Europe "This is the...