Sunday

24th Mar 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 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

Resetting the gender balance through football

Many sports, like football, have been so heavily male-dominated at every level that women and girls have battled against poor odds to be treated as equals in the game. FIFA aims to change that.

News in Brief

  1. EU leaders at summit demand more effort on disinformation
  2. Report: Corbyn to meet May on Monday for Brexit talks
  3. Petition against Brexit attracts 2.4m signatures
  4. Study: Brexit to cost EU citizens up to €40bn annually
  5. NGOs demand France halt Saudi arm sales
  6. Report: Germany against EU net-zero emissions target
  7. Former top EU official takes job at law firm
  8. Draft text of EU summit has Brexit extension until 22 May

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. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  5. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  8. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID

Latest News

  1. Italy takes China's new Silk Road to the heart of Europe
  2. What EU leaders agreed on climate - and what they mean
  3. Copyright and (another) new Brexit vote This WEEK
  4. EU avoids Brexit crash, sets new date for 12 April
  5. Campaigning commissioners blur the lines
  6. Slovakia puts squeeze on free press ahead of election
  7. EPP suspends Orban's Fidesz party
  8. Macron is confusing rigidity with strength

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us