29th Feb 2024

Finnish Church supports reference to Christianity

  • Europeans do not see the EU as just a political and economical union (Photo: EU Commission)

The Finnish archbishop Jukka Paarma would like his country to support a clear reference to Christianity in the future European Constitution.

Speaking to the Swedish language daily, Hufvudstadsbladet, after meetings in Brussels, Mr Paarma said the Finnish government should think again if the question becomes a sticking point in the current intergovernmental negotiations on the future Constitution.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

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

... or subscribe as a group

Leaders of the 25 EU current and future member states are expected to make the final decision at the Brussels summit 12-13 December. So far the Finnish government has not supported calls for a reference to Christianity.

A specific mention of Christianity in the Constitution could cause problems in the future, when Turkey, a Muslim country, may join the Union.

"We cannot deny that Islam and Judaism have had historical influence in Europe and have it even today. But Islam and Christianity do not have the same weight", claimed Mr Paarma, according to Hufvudstadsbladet.

Millions of Muslims and people believing in religions other than Christianity are living in the European Union.

Catholic countries such as Poland and Ireland are pushing strongly for a reference to Christianity to be entered into the new Constitution. France and Belgium, however, are equally strongly opposed.

The Convention, which drafted the Constitution, included a reference to the religious heritage of the European identity and civilisation, but did not make an explicit reference to Christian heritage.


Almost 20 names in running for EU top jobs

With four months until the European Parliament elections, there are already some 20 names in the hat for the ensuing reshuffle of EU top jobs.


New government in Belfast is much ado about not much

The deal to restore Northern Ireland's government — after nearly two years — is being spun as a major triumph. But not much has changed. This is an exercise in fine-tuning and political window-dressing.


Far-right MEPs least disciplined in following party line

In a fractious parliamentary vote, the level of party discipline often decides the fate of legislation. Party discipline among nationalists and far-right MEPs is the weakest, something potentially significant after the June elections. Data by Novaya Gazeta Europe and EUobserver.

Latest News

  1. Podcast: Hyperlocal meets supranational
  2. Von der Leyen appeals for 'new EU defence mindset'
  3. EU supply chain law fails, with 14 states failing to back it
  4. Joined-up EU defence procurement on the horizon?
  5. Macron on Western boots in Ukraine: What he really meant
  6. Amazon lobbyists banned from EU Parliament
  7. MEPs adopt new transparency rules for political ads
  8. EU nature restoration law approved after massive backlash

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us