Our New Common Europe

2017. 12. 19.

“European identity is being put to the test by global ethical and social changes. It is the common responsibility of European intellectuals, decision-makers and religious leaders to respond to the challenges that are posed to the norms of civic life, social life and families,” said Fidesz-KDNP MEP György Hölvényi, speaking at an international conference in Budapest entitled “Our New Common Europe”.

Being a consumer provides European citizens with a false sense of security and it threatens one’s healthy critical thinking, said Hölvényi. “This correctional, critical ability will be vital for our European future.” The conference was organized by the Christian-Democrat MEP and the István Barankovics Foundation last Thursday at Sapientia College of Theology in Budapest. Twentieth Century Europe is a Christian-Democrat success story, said the foundation’s president, József Mészáros, and the aim of the conference is to debate the social responses of the next millennium’s Christian democracy.

In his introductory lecture, Cardinal Péter Erdő highlighted that in many aspects the integration of Europe hasn’t yet been completed, and it is well demonstrated by emigration and the prevailing economic differences among Member States. The Church loves Europe, he added, and it believes in her future. The respect for human life and standing up for those in need are the most important tasks of Christians today.

Europe is built on Christianity, nationhood and natural laws, said Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of KDNP Zsolt Semjén, and the task of the Hungarian government is to stand up for the protection of these fundaments. “It is the historical success of Christianity in Europe that it managed to ennoble nationhood on the continent,” he added.

Other participants in the debate included: Dr. Olivier Poquillon, Secretary-General of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE); Dr. Gábor Dzsingisz, former State Secretary and Christian-Democrat MP in the Netherlands; and Frank Spengler, Director of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Hungary.