Issue 61 Perspectives on Europe

Europe: What is Pope Benedict Thinking?

on Friday, 28 August 2009. Posted in Issue 61 Perspectives on Europe

James Corkery SJ

September, 2009

Europe: What is Pope Benedict Thinking?

It may seem strange, as Ireland prepares for its second vote on the Lisbon Treaty on October 2, 2009, to focus on the vision of Europe of the current pope. After all, are his views not essentially religious and are Ireland’s concerns with Lisbon not, in the main, economic, social and political? At first glance, this may appear to be the case, but on closer inspection it becomes evident that Irish people are concerned about a very wide range of issues with which the Treaty of Lisbon is, or is perceived to be, connected. And the pope is concerned, as he observes the growth and development of the European Union, with the principles and the vision of humanity that underlie the advance of the EU and with how these are related to the religious and cultural heritage of the continent of Europe as a whole. Popes, and not only the present one, have a pastoral interest in Europe – and thus in the values, freedoms, opportunities, possibilities and challenges that it presents to its peoples. Indeed, before homing in on Benedict XVI’s vision of Europe, it will be instructive to glance back at the approach to Europe taken by his predecessor, John Paul II, who dominated the papal scene for over a quarter of a century, from 1978 to 2005.

Ireland, Europe and Catholic Social Teaching: Shared Values?

on Friday, 28 August 2009. Posted in Issue 61 Perspectives on Europe

Cathy Molloy

September, 2009

Ireland, Europe and Catholic Social Teaching: Shared Values?

Climate Change

© iStock
No Irish in EU?

In May this year, on the last stretch of the ancient pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, etched on a large stone, for all to see, were the words ‘No Irish in EU’. The pilgrim route celebrates St James the Apostle and has been walked by Christians for well over a thousand years, and by Kerrymen since the 1400s!1 Given the history of Irish Christianity, and its importance in the founding of Europe from the 6th century, it shocks to realise that in 2009 there are people who do not want us in the European Union.

Taking Our Rightful Place Ireland, the Lisbon Treaty and Democracy

on Friday, 28 August 2009. Posted in Issue 61 Perspectives on Europe

Edmond Grace SJ

September , 2009

Taking Our Rightful Place: Ireland, the Lisbon Treaty and Democracy

Bureacracy in Europe

Bureacracy in Europe
© iStock

A Basis of Right

The Irish electorate has voted in favour of many European treaties since the original treaty of accession in 1971. Until the Nice Treaty any deal struck by Irish negotiators with their European partners included generous financial incentives. These incentives are indisputable and easily grasped. They have been our point of entry into Europe up till now and no other vision has been offered by our political leaders, who now have left it too late to redeem their failure of leadership. They have appealed too often and too eagerly to narrow self-interest and, as a result, they have lost the ability to inspire any generous sentiment.

The time has come for straight-forward if unfamiliar questions. What is this entity, the European Union? How have we Irish benefited from membership? What are we willing to contribute? And why?

From LIBERTAS to CARITAS

on Friday, 28 August 2009. Posted in Issue 61 Perspectives on Europe

Brendan MacPartlin SJ

September, 2009

From LIBERTAS to CARITAS

Temporary agency workers protesting

Temporary agency workers protesting.
© D. Speirs

Euro barometer surveys consistently show that Irish people have a positive attitude towards the European Union. Research on how people voted in the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty found that this positive attitude was the strongest single factor affecting people’s voting decisions.1 It also found that a low level of knowledge of what was in the treaty had a powerful effect on increasing the ‘no’ vote. People who perceived things to be in the treaty that are not there, tended to vote no.  On the other hand, people who had a correct perception of what was in the treaty tended to vote yes. So it is a good move for the Department of Foreign Affairs to publish its excellent White Paper2 even though devotees of The Sun and News of the World may not read it.3

Towards the Lisbon Treaty Referendum: The View from Europe

on Friday, 28 August 2009. Posted in Issue 61 Perspectives on Europe

Frank Turner SJ

September, 2009

The title proposed to me implies a double focus: actually, a double double focus. If the rest of this edition of Working Notes offers perspectives on Europe, my task is to discuss perspectives from Europe. Two doublets are implicit in the title:

  • ‘The view’: but whose view? The view of the political establishment in Brussels? (There is no single view, but a whole set of overlapping or contrasting views.) Or rather the view of a Jesuit organisation, or of the author?
  • ‘The view’ – but of what? Of the merits and demerits of the Treaty of Lisbon itself? Or of the process of the Irish Referendum I (lost), through the subsequent inter-governmental negotiations to secure national concessions in view of Referendum II on October 2nd?

 

Working Notes Issue 61 Editorial

on Friday, 28 August 2009. Posted in Issue 61 Perspectives on Europe

September, 2009

Editorial

With the Referendum on the Lisbon Treaty just weeks away the build-up has been gathering momentum. Various civil society groups including those comprising some of our best known arts and sports celebrities, farmers, lawyers, ‘women for Europe’ have publicised their support for a Yes vote. Whatever the outcome of the vote on October 2nd, it seems reasonable to suppose that we know more than we did last time. Voting Yes or No cannot be reasonably based on the claimed ignorance of the content of the Treaty. This edition of Working Notes presents various perspectives on Europe, – not solely on the Treaty – with emphasis on some of the less publicised underlying values.

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