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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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 french_protestants_chief_to_eurofora_400

    - 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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    EU Rapporteur on Enlargment Strategy, maistream German MEP Elmar Brok, speaking to "EuroFora", welcomed the proposal made earlier this week by French President Nicolas Sarkozy for the EU to"start Now Talks with Turkey to create a common Economic and Security area", instead of full Accession, at a period when Ankara looks more and more unfit and/or unwilling to respect EU conditions.

    - "For Europe to have strong Political will, it must stop dilutiing itself in an endless Enlargement. It must have borders...Diversities enrich, on the condition that they don't undermine European Cohesion, and don't weaken EU Unity", Sarkozy stressed.
    
    - "Countries like Turkey share a part of common destiny with Europe, with which they have a vocation to build a Privileged Relation, to be closely associated, but not to become Member of the EU"  : "Noone respects his friends by telling them lies. Noone respects his friends by making them promises that will be never kept", he added.

    That's why "we'd better start, from now, negotiating with Turkey to create a common Economic and Security area", Sarkozy proposed.

Significantly, the French President was repeatedly and largely applauded by EU citizens, 3 times, when he made the Turkey point, (strategically placed between Europe's "Political Will" and its cultural heritage, historically open to mutually enriching dialogue with all the World, but never diluted).

    - "We could propose such a great ambition also to Russia, which must not be percieved as an Adversary of Europe, but as a Partner. Thus, we'd create a wide area, of more than 800 Million inhabitants, sharing the same Security, the same Prosperity", he concluded.

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    Sarkozy's move was anounced at the eve of a Franco-German Top meeting with Chancellor Angie Merkel in Berlin on Sunday, to jointly launch the EU Elections campain, after an EU Summit at nearby Prague, to launch a new kind of relations, called "Eastern Partnership", with neighboring countries such as Urkaine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaidjan, etc, (to which Russia, reportedly, is not - and does not want to be - included).

    As for Ukraine, which has already expressed her wish to join the EU in future, "Kiev will have a special place, and a very important role to play", replied earlier this week in Strasbourg, to an "EuroFora" question EU Chairman in office , Czech vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra.

    - "This direction is more Realistic for Turkey than Accession negotiations", reacted immediately EU Parliament's Rapporteur for Enlargment Strategy, mainstream German MEP Elmar Brok, commenting Sarkozy's idea for "EuroFora"

     Particularly "as far as it concerns the respect of EU Rules by both sides", he added, hinting at Turkey's now obvious inability and/or unwillingness to abide with EU Acquis, EU Commitments (fex. on Cyprus, etc), and European Democracy/Human Rights rules. (Comp. infra).

    Brok added that, in his view, a similar proposal might be made also to Ukraine and other neighbouring Countries, regardless if they have, or not, a "European vocation". This would not necessarily mean that there couldn't be any accession prospects at all." for all the countries that might be included in this area, according to Brok.  But it's preferable, particularly for Turkey, "because it's a more Realistic approach than full Membership".

    On this point, Sarkozy's proposal, (which he'll share with German Chancellor Merkel), seems more crystal-clear.

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    - "Turkey does not fullfil EU Criteria, and will never fullfil EU Criteria" on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law. "Some have been lying to Ankara, but we must tell the Truth, and have honest and close relations with her", said meanwhile to "EuroFora" on the same issue also the President of EU Parliament's largest Group of MEPs (ChristianDemocrats/EPP), Joseph Daul.
------------------------------
"Hot" Debate at EU Parliament reveals CHANGE of mood towards "Suspension" of EU - Tukey talks.
------------------------------
    Earlier this week, many MEPs, and even some of those who were previously in favor of Turkey's controversial EU bid, strongly criticized the persistance and even aggravation of serious Human Rights violations in the country, that ECHR continues to "unanimously" condemn ":

      - "After winning a big victory in the latest Local Elections, the pro-Kurdish party DTP almost doubled its Elected Mayors from 52 to 98", but afterwards "more than 400 politicians were thrown to Prison and prosecuted" by the Turkish Authorities, denounced on behalf of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group, Belgian MEP Frieda Brepoels.

     At the same time, "more than 1.500 Children are closed in Turkish Prisons", she added. "What will the EU Commission do" against these facts ?

- "Turkey appears to be at greater Distance away from Copenhagen Criteria after 4 Years of accession Negotiations, than when they started !", denounced on behalf of the Liberal Group, German MEP Alexander Lambsdorf.    

"On the central issue of Press Freedom, Critical Journalists face obstacles for their accreditation, others are prosecuted, condemned, fined and/or jailed, Media blocked or closed", he denounced.   

 - "EU Made 2 grave Mistakes with Turkey : To start accession negotiations, and to continue them", despite everything, criticized Dutch MEP Bastian Belder, on behalf of the Ind/Dem group.

(../..)

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