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Brexit: “Open Letter” of the European Churches (Cec), “we need to reimagine Europe”

“The dilemma between sovereignty and interdependence will most likely still be discussed for a long time in Europe”. Despite Europe’s achievements, for many people the EU “has become a mechanistic and technocratic institution, a bureaucrats’ project, increasingly distant from the citizens’ concerns. Something obscure, clumsy and expensive. People’s support of the EU is declining, and this is compounded by the fact that, on many occasions, the national leaders blame the EU for any failure”. This is pointed out in the “Open Letter” that the Conference of European Churches (Cec) sends its communities and organisations – in the run-up to the UK Referendum of June 23rd (Brexit) – to start “a discussion on the future of Europe and on the role of the Churches in this process. Faced with this situation, the Churches write, “we need to reimagine Europe as a whole and reassert the values that have been at the heart of its historical project and have achieved its later developments in the 60 years of its life”. Many are the questions that need to be answered nowadays: “What values should be at the heart of European identity, nowadays? How to handle the tension between a wish for sovereignty on one side and European cooperation and cultural diversity on the other side? What does the future of Europe and the future of the continent as a whole mean?”. This is how Cec is trying to start a process of consultation between the member Churches, in the run-up to the General Meeting in 2018. Any response to the document – which will be translated into several languages – must be sent in by December 2016 and will be reflected in the preparations for the General Meeting.

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