IHEYO has called on the European Union to keep references to God or Religion out of the future constitution of the EU
The European Convention on the Future of Europe is discussing the future Constitution for the EU. Religious groups -among them the Vatican- and religious conservative politicians are pressuring to include a reference to God or Religion into the future EU constitution.
Members of the European Convention, headed by the German Conservative MEP Mr. Joachim Wuermeling and 21 other members and alternate members of the Convention, proposed in their contribution (contribution 185) to introduce references to Religion and God into the European Constitutional Treaty. According to this proposal the Pre-amble of the EU-constitution should acknowledge Europe’s ‘spiritual and moral heritage’.
Also they propose in their contribution that an article should be included in the constitution which says: "The Union values shall include the values of those who believe in God as the source of truth, justice, good and beauty as well as of those who do not share such a belief but respect these universal values arising from other sources."
IHEYO’s point of view
In a letter to Valery Giscard D’estaing, the President of the Constitutional Commission of the European Convention, IHEYO has stated that it is very concerned about the proposal from Mr. Joachim Wuermeling and others and that it sees this as an unwanted development. This proposal is not based on important political, social and liberal values that should be fundamental for the European Union. The EU Constitution should be based on shared basic democratic principles and not highlight the point of view of a part of the European citizens. IHEYO wants to see that any reference to a Religion or God be excluded from a future EU Constitution. Instead, the Constitution should explicitly protect the rights of all groups regardless of their belief system, either religious or non-religious.
The letter states that: “A European Constitution should express the sharing of common values without creating divisions. Favouring one belief system over others undermines the idea of a Constitution that represents all the people in Europe”
IHEYO is in favour of the Separation of Religion and State. To protect freedom of religion, any form of religious discrimination or dominance should be avoided and preference for a belief system should be a matter of personal choice and expression. This means that no expression of religious preference should have any place in state law.
IHEYO contribution to EU-forum
Read here IHEYO's contribution to the E-forum of the EU on the European Convention:
More information about reference to God or Religion in the future EU constitution:
In an interview with the German weekly, Die Zeit, the Convention president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing let it be known that he is against a reference to God in the future text:
Opinion of European political leaders:
*Commission President Romano Prodi said on 27 Nov. that the EU was not a Christian club and Turkey might become an EU member when it has complied with all conditions for accession:
*In an interview with Le Figaro (21 Jan.), Jacques Chirac said he would be opposed to any religious reference in a constitutional text. "In the treaties, there had never been a reference of this nature. As a representative of a laic State, I do not favor a religious reference", he declared:
Opinions of Humanist organisations
*The European Humanist Federation is lobbying against the proposals of a reference of Religion or God into the future EU constitution:
*Submission from the Unione degli Atei e degli Agnostici Razionalisti (UAAR), to the E-forum Convention:
*The submission from the British Humanist Association to the E-forum Convention:
About the religious point of view
*The submission signed by 22 members of the Convention asking for a "religious reference" in a future EU constitution is being examined by the 13-member presidium, reported by www.euobserver.com on 20 January:
*The Pope is known to wish a clear mention of the Christian heritage of Europe in a future EU Constitution. This issue was also commented in an ENAR press release (8 Nov. 2002):
*"EU constitution should reflect religious values", is the opinion by Noël Treanor, Secretary General of the Commission of Bishops's Conferences of the European Community (COMECE): http://www.europeanvoice.com/current/article.asp?id=16669