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Dialogue with Religions, Churches and Humanisms - Issues

A Soul for Europe

Ethics and Spirituality

"If in the next ten years we haven’t managed to give a Soul to Europe, to give it spirituality and meaning the game will be up."
President Delors, Speech to the churches. Brussels Febr. 4th 1992.

 A Soul for Europe is an initiative with the aim of giving a spiritual and ethical dimension to the European Union. It came from the former President of the European Commission, Jacques Delors, in 1992. His opinion was that it would be impossible to succeed with the European Union solely on the basis of legal expertise and economic know-how. Therefore, President Delors wanted Europe to offer its citizens something above economics and legal systems. In the wake of this, A Soul for Europe was founded in 1994. The intention was to involve religious communities in dialogue with the European institutions. In order to do this the European Commission encouraged the religious communities to present projects: meetings, seminars, social activities, etc, meant to contribute to the recognition and understanding of the ethical and spiritual dimension of European unification and politics. Selected projects may benefit from grants from the European Commission.

The availability of such grants sparked off a collaboration between religions and humanist communities, back in 1994. This cooperation was the foundation for what is now A Soul for Europe initiative.

Essence

A Soul for Europe is a non profit association with the aim to contribute to the building of a Europe for the people. The association shall provide a forum for an interfaith dialogue on various levels, in relation with the European institutions, and it encourages meetings among its members of communities of faith and conviction in a spirit of respect, tolerance and open-mindedness. The association does not strive for any syncretism whatsoever and its members renounce any evangelisation within the group.

Members

A Soul for Europe is composed of six members, who are all communities of faith and conviction with a European structure. The members are:

Since these communities represent a large number of people in Europe the actual number of members in A Soul for Europe is much bigger than six. In fact, every citizen in Europe that belongs to any of these communities is, in a way, member of the initiative.

Membership Criteria

Every organisation that officially represents a religious or philosophical tradition with a European structure can become member of A Soul for Europe. The organisations are also to have the weight of the whole institution of their religious or philosophical community behind them and therefore carry a mandate from that institution. In the future, there will probably be two kinds of membership: full member or associate member.

Address:

A Soul for Europe- Ethics and Spirituality
Secretariat
Mrs Win Burton
Ecumenical Centre
174, rue Joseph II
1000 Brussels
Tel: +32-2-2346837
Fax: +32-2-2311413
E-mail: soul@cec-kek.be

 

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