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Home arrow newsitems arrow French JHA Minister Collomb to "EF": Ecumenic Religious Dialogue can help Build Europe + Humanity

French JHA Minister Collomb to "EF": Ecumenic Religious Dialogue can help Build Europe + Humanity

Written by ACM
Friday, 27 October 2017
 
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- It's by Continuous Dialogue also in Ecumenic, Religious aspects, that People can help Build a Strong European Society and even the Future of Humanity, nowadays, stressed in Reply to an "Eurofora" Question the experienced  French Top Minister of the Interior, responsible also for Religious affairs, Gerard Collomb, one of the closest supporters of new French President Emmanuel Macron,  (See also Infra).

 

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Gerard Collomb said that inside the CoE, just After a Joint appearance here, Together with the German President of the Bundestag (National Parliament), Wolfgang Schäuble, for the official Opening of a 3 Days-long Public Gathering of Protestants from all over France in Strasbourg, (as also in the Past : Comp., f.ex.: ...), giving such a reply to our relevant question, raised during an official Press-point.

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      Meanwhile, Collomb and Schäuble had been Welcomed here by former CoE Assembly's President, Luxembourg's MEP Anne Brasseur, and Strasbourg City's Mayor Ries, as well as EU Parliament's Anti-Terrorism Committee President, MEP Nathalie Griesberk, from nearby Lorraine, for a Ceremony which included playing the European Anthem.

 

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 - "Eurofora" had pointed at a Collomb's reference to Ecumenism, earlier Today at his formal Speech, and asked him about the Role that be believes it might play, Nowadays, particularly in Europe's Future edification.  

 

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 - "Yes, certainly, it (Ecumenism) is Important !", for that too, he Positively Replied immediately to "Eurofora"s Question, from the outset.


 - Especially "for the People to manage to have a Dialogue between them through their various Religions" too, Collomb specified.


- F.ex., personally, "I come from a City (Lyon, near Geneva) with a Strong Ecumenism, and where a Dialogue exists between (not only Christian) Catholics and Protestants, (but also) Jewish and Muslims", he reminded.


Gerard Collomb has been, indeed, the Long-Time Mayor of nearby Lyon City, located close to the Franco-Swiss Borders, (near International UNO's PanEuropean Headquarters at Geneva), almost as Strasbourg is located near the Franco-German Borders, which Both facilitate a greater proximity and even interaction between Catholic and Protestant Christians, and well beyond, while CoE's PanEuropean Headquarters, here, obviously evoke also Orthodox Christians (from Russia, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, a.o. up to Finland, etc), added to Jewish (Historically spread almost Everywhere), and even Muslim people (f.ex. in Albania, part of Bosnia, extended to Turkey), recently also Budhist, etc.


 - "And I think that this is very Good, because that helps Build a Society, and strenghen its Foundations", he Replied, at least as far as "Eurofora"s initial Question on Europe was concerned as such.


+ But, moreover, "it's in such a Continuous Dialogue" that we can also help into "Building the Future of Humanity", Collomb went on to add furthermore, with an interesting and timely conclusion, towards a Wider and even more Fundamental Horizon

 

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>>> By his Last, Key Observation, indeed, Gerard Collomb obviously went well Beyond Europe alone, viewing it Today right at the Center of a World-wide Debate on the Present and the Future of all Humankind...  I.e. a Topical Viewpoint of Fundamental Importance Nowadays, when even Basic Human Values face, almost Simultaneously, he Different but Parallel big Challenges of Deadly Islamist Terrorism brutally targetting innocent Civilian People, from one side, and Fastly Growing New Bio-Technologies, bringing Both Hopes and UnPrecedented Dangers for all Humankind, including Genetics up to Brain, etc., from another side, (Comp. f.ex.: ...).


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    - Noting, Earlier at his official Speech in COE's Hemicycle, the "Major Upheavals" that "European Societies" Face Today, inter alia also by "Terrorist threats, Economic Crisis' remnants, Mass Migration", Political/Mediatic "Manipulations", Radicalisation trends, etc, he, had already Pointed Towards the "Educated Citizen" with a "Critical Mindset" and "Freedom of Conscience," of "the Enlightnment" era, "Inspired" also by the Historic Movement of Original "Protestantism", but also its more Recent contribution towards "promoting a profound Ecumenism at a European level", as he said.


    - Thus, Pleading, Nowadays, for "a Secularism of Freedom", "able to Recognize the Contribution of Various Spiritual Movements in Building our Civilisation", the French JHA Minister Welcomed also "a Tradition of opening to Ecumenism and Inter-Religious Dialogue", "which could  make Precious" contributions Today, (Comp. Supra).


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A Similar View, about a possible and nowadays more necessary than ever, Contribution of Inter-Religious Dialogue for the eventual construction of a Basic set of common Ethical Values, is shared also (as he had personally confirmed to "Eurofora" earlier : See ...) by EU Parliament's new President Antonio Tajani, who has notoriously Invited New French President Emmanuel Macron to visit and Debate with MEPs asap. in Strasbourg, where he is now expected to make an Important speech Next Week, precisely at the European Court of Human Rights.

 

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SCHÄUBLE :
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    - Meanwhile, New President of the German Parliament, Wolfgang Schäuble, the Longest serving elected MP, Many times Top Minister of Interior, Finances, etc.,

who had just Succeeded, Earlier this Week in Berlin, to make the 709 Members-Wide Assembly, (that has just started, after the September 2017 Election, with the Most Diverse Political Composition and the Biggest Contradictions in Modern Germany's History, since the Adenauer's era during the 1950ies, Spreading from "Linke'"s Leftists to "AfD"'s Rightists, etc), astonishingly Applaud him several Times quasi-Unanimously, particularly when he spoke about the "Necessary "Diversity", "Respect" due to each other's Opinions, "Pluralism" and even "Controversy", as well as "Co-Existence", "Basic Consensus", and "Majority" rule, in a "Democracy" with a "Rule of Law" providing for "Human Rights" and other "Checks and Balances", inside a "United Europe",

didn't shy away from finding a Similar Inspiration also on the occasion of "Protestantism"'s most useful Values Today :

 

schuble_speech_at_the_coe_eurofora_400
 

    - Indeed, Schäuble stressed, in his Official Speech (in French) at CoE's Hemicycle, Today, that "within a Unified Europe", we need Both a "Pluralism in Civil Society", as well as to "Negotiate" Political "Compromises" in order to "Find Just European Solutions", as he said.

 
    => Therefore, Reminding Martin Bucer's Theological work in the History of Strasbourg, "from where was "launched the 1st Ecumenic impulse", Schäuble added that we also "Need actively Committed (EU) Citizens Nowadays" on 2017, as the original "Commitment of Protestants" Christian People, 500 Years ago, Concluding among laud applause.


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    + It's also a Fact that, Luther, notoriously, had not really intended to establish a Separate Church, initially, but rather to Change, Reform the then existing Church, (comp. "Reform" denomination, etc), by Protesting against what he strongly felt to be Deviations, then, (many among which were, indeed, criticized and droped, afterwards, even inside the Catholic Church, through its own History's further developments). => This is a reason more for Christian Ecumenism Nowadays.


         ++ Moreover, by a Coincidence, almost at the Same Time, also here at the CoE, in Strasbourg, at least two separate, but successive, Public Events, raised Similar Topical Issues :

 
coe_ceremony_on_guidos_death_san_marinos_ambassadorpr__eurofora_400 


- The Sudden Death of the experienced Ambassador of San Marino to the CoE, Guido Bellatti Ceccoli, mourned at two successive Ceremonies by almost All CoE's Leadership, earlier this Week in Strasbourg, timely Reminded that the Sympathetic Multilateral Diplomat, who had served Both at the CoE in Strasbourg, and at the UNO at nearby Geneva, had consistently pursued also an Agenda of Inter-Religious Dialogue, during almost a Decade (2008-2017). This gave an Opportunity to informally discuss, with certain participants, also "Eurofora"s suggestion, Last Year, to eventually Search to Find at least some Basic Elements for a kind of Elementary "common Human Ethical Values", supported by almost All main Religions, (that some compared, mutatis-mutandis, also with a notorious Attempt by Controversial but Interesting Philosopher/Theologian Kuhn, etc).


    - "Eurofora", who had Met Guido Ceccoli just 2 Weeks Ago, during CoE's Parliamentary Assembly's (PACE) Plenary Autumn Session, had Discussed with him about a Topical issue on Russia, (instead of Human Rights, etc., as in the Past), because of an Exceptional PACE - CoE's Committee of Ministers' meeting, which had Tried to Start Searching a Solution on the Problems raised by Moscow's Refusal to Pay its full Financial Contribution to the CoE, as long as Russian MEPs would be still Threatened to be Deprived from their Elementary Voting and Participation Rights, as a "Sanction" for the Controversial Ukranian conflict. Both for Legal and Practical Reasons, an eventual Deal had to be brokered before the 22th of January 2018, so that Time was Short...


      - Already, several Years Ago, at Italy's Brixen-Bressanone (South Tyrol), Pope Emeritus Benedict had Launched a Dramatic Appeal to EU Leadership, Calling them to Urgently Act in order to Stop a Violent Clash between the attacking Tbilisi's National Army and South Ossetia, a Georgian pro-Autonomy Region which had asked help from neighbouring Russia, back on August 2008, to the point that "tragic events"  had "caused many innocent victims and obliged a great number of civilians to leave their homes", so that, in order to "Avoid to cause more, and Worse Sufferings to the Population", "Military actions" should "Immediately Stop",  and "Initiatives" for a "peaceful and sustainable solution" should "resolutely take, the road of negotiation and dialogue", "in the name of the common Christian Heritage" of "All Christians", as he had stressed, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/irish/benepeace.html ). This was, Immediately done, in a Few Hours, thanks to a Fast-Track Diplomacy by then EU Chair, French President Sarkozy, who visited Both Moscow and Tbilisi, brokering a Peace Deal between the Russian and Georgian Presidents, Later that Same Day.


    ++ A Similar Appeal was Later Launched also by the current Pope Francis, on Summer 2014, Urging to Stop Deadly Clashes in Ukraine, between Kiev's New Government and Donetsk-Luhansk pro-Autonomy Regions, which were mainly Killing a lot of Civilian People at the latter area : He called for "Dialogue" and "Reconciliation" among "all parties involved", and this was, at least Partly, done, after a Ministerial meeting on September 2014 and a Heads of State Summit, between French, German, Ukranian and Russian Leaders, in liaison with the Autonomist Regions, on February 2015, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/christiansonukraineviacoe.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/fulltextsofallukraineagreements.html ).


    +++ Mutatis-Mutandis, in a Less Tragic Context, an Artistic Exhibition organized by Moldova, earlier this week at the CoE in Strasbourg, pointed Well Beyond a simple "Inter-Cultural Dialogue", towards "Universal Emotional Feelings", as CoE's Deputy Secretary General, Gabriela Battaini-Dragoni observed at her Speech in the Inauguration of that Event, officially Named "Cultural Connexions"...


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    - Last, but not least, Later Today, President of French Protestants' Federation, Pastor Clavairoly, speaking to "Eurofora", stressed that, indeed, by Inviting Both Gerard Collomb and Wolfgang Schäuble, "we Wanted to underline the European Dimension, and Not Only French, of the Reform's 500th Anniversary" (1517-2017).

 

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    - For that purpose, "the presence of the French JHA Minister and the German Parliament's President (Comp. Supra), illustrates, indeed, the significance of the (Protestant) Reform, Both from the European and Political, as well as Civilisation's points of view", President Clavairoly told us. This includes "Protestantism's Commitments on receiving Refugees, on Ecology, Democracy, Citizens' involvement, etc", he highlighted in concreto, (Comp. Supra).

 

(../..)


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***


(NDLR : Fast Translation from the Original in French)

+


("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora"s Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be Published asap).


***



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Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, speaking  to "EuroFora", denied rumors on Turkey's attempts to avoid an EU check of its obligations on Cyprus on December 2009 by blackmailing Nicosia to either accept any deal with intransigeant Turkish claims contrary to EU values on the island's political issue, or face threats against the territorial integriy of the EU island, semi-occupied by Ankara's army.

On the contrary, the incoming EU President-in-office, speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", promissed that he will act for EU Council's decisions on December 2009 assessment of Turkey's commitments on Cyprus to be kept.


    Bildt was asked to react to Cyprus' President Christofias' denunciation, earlier this week, that some want to exert "pressure" on Cyprus in order for Turkey to escape from its obligations.

    Avoiding to mention any precise Deadline, Bildt, however, warned about "Consequences" in case of "failure" to reunite Cyprus, but without saying whose responsibility an eventual deadlock might be.  

 Asked by "EuroFora" if there is a risk for "Turkey's commitments to "be forgotten or downgraded", "despite crystal-clear EU Council decisions and EU Parliament's latest Resolution on the assessment to make at the end of this year on Turkey's obligations", according to rumours that, instead of pressing Turkey, on the contrary, there might be "pressure on Cyprus", even "blackmail", as Media reported and President Christofias denounced this week, Bildt denied :

- "No ! ", he clearly replied.


- On the contrary, invited by "EuroFora", to "reassure that the Swedish EU Presidency (7-12/2009) will keep a fair stance, based on principles",  Bildt promised that "we (Swedish EU Presidency) will be very clear on all of the decisions taken by the (EU) Council".

He added, however, that "we have very numerous decisions that have been taken" by EU Council, as if he warned, also, on something else.

- "'I am not aware of any sort of statements coming out today''", Bildt started to say, on our reference to Cyprus' President Christofias" denunciation of Turkish lobby's manoeuvers this week, replying earlier to 'another"EuroFora"'s question during a Press Conference at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.


 - '"I know the issues that you' are concerned with'", he added, remembering  the statements he gave us when Sweden was chairing the PanEuropean CoE on 2008.

- "But, obviously, .. I think that Cyprus' Peace negotiations are extremenly important".

- And "'I think that we are at a unique moment in History, in the sens that both (Cyprus') President Christofias and Mr. Talat (the Turkish Cypriot leader), are personally convinced of the need to overcome the division".

 - "It's 20 Years since the fall of Berlin Wal, but we still have a Capital in Europe (Nicosia) that's divided". ,

- 'I don't that we should loose any time in overcoming that"..

 - ''We should be aware of the fact that success will bring great benefits, but failure, will also have major consequences. There will not be Status Quo' " It's a question of seeking a solution, or entering another situation, which is somewhat difficult to see exactly how that could evolve", he warned.

- "That being said, this is a negotiation for Cyprus itself", Bildt admitted.

 - ''We (EU) can support, the (EU) Commission primarily, be technically helpful, and then, of course, there is a specific role for the UN, when it comes to the Cyprus' situation".  

- "At least so far. It might not be for ever'. Certainly not for ever, but for this period of time", Bildt added, skiping now any reference to concrete threats on UNO's Peace keeping force in face of more than 40.000 Ankara's soldiers, contrary to some Press claims, (See previous NewsReports).


     Replying to another "EuroFora"'s Question,  if anyone might attempt to "impose a Deadline for the conclusion" of Cyprus' Talks on December 2009, Bildt avoided to speak of any precise Time-frame, and indirectly evoked the fact that  35 Years of Turkish Invasion/Occupation obviously durated too long :

'- "If I was from Cyprus, I would say that the Deadline was Yesterday ! '",
Bildt concluded.

Cyprus' Government Spokesman, Stephanou, reportedly pointed out that "a settlement is possible on December if Turkey changes its stance", accepting a solution for the reunification of the island based on UNO resolutiona and EU principles.

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Earlier, EU Chair, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld, highlighted an "historic opportunity" to "re-Unite" Cyprus according to EU's "basic Values"' (i.e. Human Rights) and 'Rules'", in a last-minute change of his draft speech to EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    The initial Draft spoke only about "healing" the island.

    Significantly, Reinfeldt linked Cyprus' reunification with Turkey's obligations to respect EU's "Values" and "follow" EU's "common Rules" :

    - What is "called Membership Negotiations" should lead, "at- the end of the day", into "sharing a set of common Basic Values (i.e. Human Rights, Democracy, etc), and following common Rules", stressed Reinfeld from the outset.
    
    - "This is something that those on the Outside (of the EU), are now  contemplating", up "to Ankara", for "a solution" on "Cyprus", observed the EU Chairman, immediately afterwards..  

    - "Both sides of Cyprus have been granted a historic opportunity to together reach an agreement on a solution to re-Unite the island, that has been divided for far too long", said Reinfeldt, modifying his draft text.


-  "The Swedish Presidency will act ...in accordance with Commitments EU has made, on the basis of Criteria that apply", "as a Honest Broker", he promised.    

- "To those on the inside (of the EU), allowing the membership process to become an opportunity to solve protracted disputes, can be tempting", he added.


    "In such cases, we must find solutions that can benefit both sides, and open up a way forward. Otherwise, it would jeopardize the progress we have made towards EU integration", Reinfeldt said.

***

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