IHEYO takes stand against funding by EU for World Catholic Youth Days (August 2005)

IHEYO urged the European Commission and Parliament earlier this year, not to grant money to the World Catholic Youth Days. Youth days of other life stances are not given any money either and by granting money to the Catholic youth days, the EU gives up his stand of neutrality. A fragment of the letter we wrote to the commissioners:


Bearing this in mind we urge the Commission to treat all philosophical oriented groups (Christians, Muslims, Free-thinking Humanists, Jews, Protestants, etc)  equally. When the Commission decides to support a manifestation of only one of these groups it should realise that this implies a discrimination of the other life stances.


At this occasion we wish to draw the Commissions attention to request for support to the European Commission of the ‘World Youth Day’ manifestation in Köln (Germany). With all respect for the  organisers we want to inform the Commission that this event (http://www.wjt2005.de ) that goes under the title ‘We have come to worship Him’ strives for a Catholic mass-evangelisation under the presence of the pope Benedictus XVI and does not reflects the pluralist character that the European Commission guarantees for all citizens in search for common European values.


Although the Christian religion is important in Europe, it is not the only life-stance. We oppose to a situation where only one life-stance oriented group, that already has considerable means, receives support for their world events.

In this case it would send out a wrong signal of the Commission’s work to the media, to civil society in general and more specifically to other life stances like Secular non-confessional Humanists”. 

The Catholic Days were held in August this year with the 1,5 million Euro from the commission of which 250.000 out of the youth budget. IHEYO and other groups did not succeed in preventing the funding being allocated, but are working on follow up ways as to ensure neutrality on EU youth matters in the future and keep on protesting against such discriminatory actions.  

Other Statements:

-IHEYO has called on the European Union to keep references to God or Religion out of the future constitution of the EU. (Spring 2003)



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