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COMECE: Seminar on “Populism and renationalisation – a test for Europe and its democracies”

(Brussels) “Europe faces challenges that have led to a polarisation of views, undermining cohesion within the EU and shaking our confidence in the resilience of our democracies”. This assumption motivated the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) to hold the annual socio-ethical talks, co-sponsored by the Catholic Centre for Social Sciences (KSZ), on the theme of “Populism and renationalisation – a test for Europe and its democracies”. The reflection, a statement reads, takes place in continuity with “(Re)thinking Europe”, the event held in Rome in October 2017, and responds to Pope Francis’ invitation “to promote political dialogue”. “Confidence in the stability of democracy in Europe has been shaken in recent years: in Germany, political confrontation on refugees has led to social polarization and the strengthening of radical forces”, the organizers explain. While “in some eastern European countries, governments show an increasingly authoritarian style” and “seek to undermine the rule of law and the EU’s democratic standards”, “in all EU countries, euro-sceptical, nationalistic and populist forces are gaining momentum. In Mönchengladbach, on 14-15 June, we will exchange views on how to “strengthen the EU and European democracy and what contribution the Church can make”. Speakers will include the Bishop of Essen and COMECE Vice-President Franz-Josef Overbeck; MEP Elmar Brok; and Czech sociologist Tomáš Halík.

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