Sunday

5th Feb 2023

Seven countries back Christianity in Constitution

The demand to have Europe's Christian values mentioned in a new European Constitution is gaining increasing support.

Now, seven of the 25 countries participating in the negotiations of a new European Constitution support the call, according to the Italian EU Presidency.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • As current holder of the EU Presidency, Italy is abstaining from taking a stand on the issue (Photo: Thesetides.com)

The seven countries are: Spain, Ireland, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

As the current holder of the EU Presidency, Italy is abstaining from taking a stand on the issue. But it is well known that Rome supports the demand as well.

The Convention, which drafted the Constitution, included a reference to the religious heritage of the European identity and civilisation. But the Convention failed to make an explicit reference to the Christian heritage. The seven countries feel this is unacceptable.

The issue might now be up for debate when the next meeting of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) is held on Monday (27 October) in Brussels.

The French President Jacques Chirac has made it clear that he will defend the lay character of the French state and is not going to accept a "religious reference" in the EU Constitution.

Also the majority in the European Parliament has rejected an inclusion of a reference to the "judeo-christian roots of Europe" in the preamble of the new treaty. MEPs were against the proposal by 283 to 211.

Italian treaty draft by the end of November

On the agenda for Monday's meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels are also the rotating presidencies and the use of qualified majority voting in the European Union.

Italy's draft of the future European constitution will be ready by the end of November, said the Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini in the European Parliament's constitutional affairs committee on Tuesday (21 October).

The draft, on which EU heads of state and government are expected to take a final decision in December, will be a global proposal based on a series of bilateral consultations and a summit of foreign ministers in Naples on November 28 and 29, added Mr Frattini.

Fight looms over Christianity in Constitution

A reference to Christianity in the preamble of the European Constitution may become one of the main issues at the Intergovernmental conference due to start on Saturday (4 October) in Rome as new countries join the "pro-Christian" lobby.

EU lobby register still riddled with errors

The EU's lobby register remains riddled with errors, with pro-transparency campaigners demanding better data and mandatory rules. The latest findings come amid a raft of proposals by the European Parliament president to weed out corruption in the wake of Qatargate.

Latest News

  1. Greece faces possible court over 'prison-like' EU-funded migration centres
  2. How the centre-right can take on hard-right and win big in 2024
  3. Top EU officials show Ukraine solidarity on risky trip
  4. MEPs launch anonymous drop-box for shady lobbying secrets
  5. Hawkish ECB rate-rise 'puts energy transition at risk'
  6. MEPs push for greater powers for workers' councils
  7. How Pavel won big as new Czech president — and why it matters
  8. French official to take on Islamophobia in EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Party of the European LeftJOB ALERT - Seeking a Communications Manager (FT) for our Brussels office!
  2. European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights (EPF)Launch of the EPF Contraception Policy Atlas Europe 2023. 8th February. Register now.
  3. Europan Patent OfficeHydrogen patents for a clean energy future: A global trend analysis of innovation along hydrogen value chains
  4. Forum EuropeConnecting the World from the Skies calls for global cooperation in NTN rollout
  5. EFBWWCouncil issues disappointing position ignoring the threats posed by asbestos
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersLarge Nordic youth delegation at COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us