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Europeinfos: COMECE and JESC, clarification for “readers”

(Brussels) “In the last few months, a certain number of articles appeared in Europeinfos, written by authors invited by a Catholic university broaden network. Those articles were dedicated to understanding fundamental European values and their meanings for the internal policies of different EU member countries. “A few of them caused strong reactions and upset some circles”: it is written in the note “To Europeinfos’ readers”, published in the portal of COMECE, in the room reserved for the monthly magazine. “The purpose of those articles was to foster opinions based on generally debated facts, and to stimulate debate; in any case” the purpose “was not to offend anyone”. “We are sorry that some of our readers could feel offended by the opinions developed in those articles”. Two articles were actually deleted from the site of Europeinfos: one about the political situation in Poland (“What’s happening in Poland?”), and another one on Hungary (“Ideology of the New Right-Wing in Hungary”). After the introduction, the note goes on by saying “it is important to inform our readers on the political editorial mission” of the press service. “Europeinfos is published monthly by the office of COMECE and JESC” (Jesuit European Social Centre), “but it is not the official press service of those organisations, or of the episcopate-members of COMECE”. Therefore, “the opinions expressed in Europeinfos are the opinions of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of COMECE or JESC”. The mission of the magazine “is to inform the people on the political issues of the European Union, which are indirectly interesting for the Church. The mission is also to introduce a perspective inspired by the social doctrine of the Church on those topics”. Moreover: “Since our beginning, we have been trying to stimulate reflection and build up debate. We deliberately encouraged our authors to develop their opinions based on scientific analysis and objective facts, that can be checked”, “but we also encouraged them to develop their opinions without any editorial restrictions from us”. The text also says: “Through its articles, Europeinfos usually provides an analysis without gratification for the decisions taken by EU institutions, and makes criticism, if necessary. In the same way, our magazine reserves the right to criticise the decisions taken by member States possibly endangering the foundation values of Europe”. In the end, the note signed by the two editors in charge, Johanna Touzel (COMECE) and Martin Maier (JESC), says: “Those are the principles Europeinfos has been following ever since its debut, 20 years ago”.

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