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Intercultural dialogue: a forum in Zagreb. Suica, “defusing hatred and populism”. McGuinness, facing today’s challenges

L'eurodeputata croata Dubravka Suica

(From Zagreb) “There could be no better choice than the Balkans to discuss intercultural dialogue”, and “the situation of Bosnia Herzegovina proves it”: speaking at the forum that is taking place in Zagreb, Croatia, Dubravka Suica, a People’s Party MEP, emphasised the “gap that still persists between citizens and political institutions, as well as religious institutions”; that’s why “intercultural dialogue should come up with innovative ideas, facing today’s problems, and we can bring ideas inspired by the Christian principles” that have helped shape today’s Europe. Dialogue between different cultures and faiths, the MEP went on, is essential “to stop fear of other people, to defuse the extremism and hatred, racism and populism” that are spreading everywhere. “Mutual sharing and respect as equals help overcome the prejudice” that “Christians are the victims of, especially in the Middle East”. In a video message from Brussels, the deputy president of the European Assembly, Mairead McGuinness, mentioned article 17 of the Lisbon Treaty, which a structured dialogue between the EU and the religious communities is based on; a dialogue that, as stated by McGuinness (in charge of the enforcement of article 17), “should help us go back to the fundamental values of the European integration process, including the values that take inspiration from Christianity, to heal the wounds of the past – as in my country, Ireland – and to build the future by facing”, with new answers, “today’s challenges, including the homing of migrants”.

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