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Accueil 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

Ecrit par 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 :

 
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- 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)

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


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    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
----------------------------

EU "Solidarity" ?
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Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

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Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

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