Monday

22nd Apr 2019

Barroso to inaugurate European synagogue

  • Jose Manuel Barroso's name will appear on a plaque inside the building (Photo: EUobserver)

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso will in a ceremony on Wednesday (4 June) help dedicate a Brussels temple as the "Great Synagogue of Europe," amid prayers for EU leaders to act justly.

The synagogue - an 1878 Romanesque-style building in Brussels' central Rue de la Regence - is to become a symbolic focal point for Judaism in Europe, a little like St Peter's Basilica in Rome is for Roman Catholics.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The commission head will sign a document of dedication along with two chief rabbis and two witnesses, with Mr Barroso's name also appearing on a plaque inside the building.

The event will involve the reading of a specially-drafted "Prayer for Europe" as well as singing by the European Choir - a Brussels-based team of 100 singers from 20 EU states set up in 1958 to act as "musical ambassadors for Europe."

The prayer will ask for happiness for European citizens and for the continent's leaders to act with justice and equanimity to create a "spiritual union," Polish daily Rzeczpospolita reports.

"The EU appears to be convinced that the European construction must not only be based on economic interests but also on religious and spiritual well-being," chief rabbi Albert Guigui of the Rue de la Regence church told the European Jewish Press.

Palestinian protest

In a separate development, Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad has written to the EU institutions, urging the bloc not to deepen relations with Israel at a meeting later this month.

The letter, dated May 27 and made public by Italian leftist MEP Luisa Morgantini, denounces Israel's "flagrant disregard" for Palestinian rights by building fresh settlements in disputed territory, Reuters reports.

EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg on 16 June will discuss upgrading the EU's current association pact on trade and security co-operation with the EU neighbour.

EU parliament backs whistleblower law

MEPs backed an EU law to protect whistleblowers from retaliation in both the public and private sectors. EU states will have two years to transpose the directive.

EU commission to map gender recognition

The European Commission will start looking at how EU states determine genders - as part of an effort to make it easier for people to determine their own identities.

EU to propose scrapping summer time change

Based on the preliminary results of an online survey in which mostly Germans took part, the EU executive is proposing that the whole EU stops changing times in March and October.

Investigation

How to get around the EU posted workers directive

Some EU careworkers in Belgium receive around €400 a month - despite their carers paying €2,500 a month and paying for flights and accommodation. The answer lies in how firms can skirt the safeguards in the EU's posted workers directive.

Feature

Romania enlists priests to promote euro switchover plan

Romania is due to join the single currency in 2024 - despite currently only meeting one of the four criteria. Now the government in Bucharest is enlisting an unlikely ally to promote the euro to the public: the clergy.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  2. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  3. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  4. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  9. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  10. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan

Latest News

  1. Romania drafts EU code on NGO migrant rescues
  2. Bulgaria, Hungary, and Malta shamed on press unfreedom
  3. EU drafts $20bn US sanctions list in aviation dispute
  4. Brunei defends stoning to death of gay men in EU letter
  5. US Democrats side with Ireland on Brexit
  6. Wifi or 5G to connect EU cars? MEPs weigh in
  7. How Brexit may harm the new EU parliament
  8. EU parliament backs whistleblower law

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us