Wednesday

29th Jun 2022

Freemasons keen to open office in EU capital

  • The EU commission should be a secularist body, the freemasons say (Photo: European Commission)

A French freemason has said that part of the movement is keen to open a bureau in Brussels to lobby against the rising influence of religious organisations in the EU institutions.

"The masonic orders should practice politics in the positive sense of the term: So that despite their own partisan divisions, they speak out on the side of secularism and voice their disagreement with this or that governmental or European decision," Jean-Michel Quillardet, the former Grand Master of the Grand Orient de France, told Belgian daily Le Soir in an interview out on Wednesday (17 February).

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

He said that masonic lodges in Europe remain divided on the subject, with some more "shy" than others of attracting publicity by opening an office in the EU capital.

He added that practical problems are more important than the divisions, and sketched out an agenda for the future outfit.

"I think we will one day manage to create a general masonic delegation, for the sake of free-thinking in the European institutions. It's possible politically. It's less possible at the financial level, as we have infinitely smaller resources than the churches," Mr Quillardet explained.

The mason said that the Brussels bureau's first task would be to promote the idea of citizenship: "It is necessary to impose the universal idea of the Enlightenment, which consists of the notion that people are citizens and European citizens before being Jewish, black, Maghreb, homosexual, heterosexual."

Mr Quillardet explained that the Grand Orient de France has already created a cell which attempts to bring together all the lodges in Europe.

In 2007 it organised a pan-European masonic congress in Strasbourg, with subsequent meetings in 2008 and 2009 in Greece and Turkey. The 2010 event is to be in Portugal.

He added that in 2008 European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso for the first time met with delegates from a group of lodges and in the same year wrote a letter to the international congress in Athens.

"We told him that apart from its Christian roots, Europe owed much to Greek and Roman philosophy, Renaissance humanism and the Enlightenment. We obtained representation for masonic orders and for groups which defend secularism in Bepa," he said, in reference to the Bureau of European Policy Advisers, a high-level policy analysis unit in the EU commission.

The Barroso letter was "for us a recognition on the intellectual landscape," Mr Quillardet explained.

EU opens door to Ukraine in 'geopolitical' summit

EU leaders will also discuss eurozone issues with European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde, as more and more leaders are worried about voters' distress at soaring inflation.

Opinion

The euro — who's next?

Bulgaria's target date for joining the eurozone, 1 January 2024, seems elusive. The collapse of Kiril Petkov's government, likely fresh elections, with populists trying to score cheap points against the 'diktat of the eurocrats', might well delay accession.

News in Brief

  1. New president for European Committee of the Regions
  2. Gas flows from Spain to Morocco, after Western Sahara row
  3. BioNTech, Pfizer test 'universal' coronavirus vaccine
  4. UK sanctions second-richest Russian businessman
  5. Hungary permits emergency supervision of energy firms
  6. Bulgaria expels 70 alleged Russian spies
  7. EU Commission told to improve CAP data analytics
  8. Scotland pushes for second independence vote in 2023

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  2. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  4. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022
  5. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBHow price increases affect construction workers
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic think tank examines influence of tech giants

Latest News

  1. EU Commission says it cannot find messages with Pfizer CEO
  2. EU ministers sign off on climate laws amid German infighting
  3. EU presidency still looking for asylum relocation pledges
  4. Finland and Sweden to join Nato, as Erdoğan drops veto
  5. The euro — who's next?
  6. One rubicon after another
  7. Green crime-fighting boss urgently required, key MEP says
  8. G7 leaders want price cap on Russian oil

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us