Letter to President Barroso: Parity of Treatment with the Churches
The President of the EHF wrote to President Barroso on 27 February 2007 seeking parity of treatment with the churches. His letter is reproduced below. President Barroso replied to this letter with good wishes and expressions of interest in ‘continuing the exchange of views and ideas that your predecessor at the European Humanist Federation and I were able to develop’. He invited EHF to meet him – the meeting of July 2007.
On the substantive question of EHF representation at the meetings of the Presidents of the EU institutions with religious leaders, see here.
Dear President Barroso
I read with interest your speech to the European Parliament on 13 February and I very much welcome your emphasis on the diversity of Europe, not least in matters of belief. You referred to next year’s Year of Inter-Cultural Dialogue, for which the European Humanist Federation has already put forward ideas.
I warmly endorse your desire for “a Europe of peace, freedom, democracy, prosperity and justice.” I am sure you will recognise that one requirement in such a Europe is that people should be treated equally whatever their beliefs, religious or non-religious. In that context, may I refer to your use of the phrase “cultural and religious pluralism”, which appears at first to be inclusive. In fact, however, it excludes the very large minority of the people of Europe whose beliefs are not religious but secular or humanist, whereas a phrase such as ‘plurality of culture and belief’ would include everyone.
I know you are sensitive to the need to include the non-religious because you were good enough to hold a meeting with my predecessor as President of the European Humanist Federation and we gather another such meeting may be in prospect.
I wonder therefore whether you will ensure that the non-religious are represented along with the main religions and churches on the occasion of the ‘summit’ in May this year with the three Presidents of the European political institutions to which you also referred in your speech?
President, European Humanist Federation
This content last updated 24 August 2011 @ 3:47 pm