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Rome Treaties: Card. Marx (Comece), “the common journey is ultimately the best” and populist forces leads to “a dead end”

“It is good for the states and peoples of Europe to know that the common journey is ultimately the best. But it is also important to assess in practice whether the states are also ready to act accordingly”. In an exclusive interview with SIR news agency, Card. Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising, president of the German Bishops’ Conference and president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE), explained the “reasons” why today we should still believe in the European project and strengthen it. Aware of the fact that, 60 years after the Treaties of Rome, the “European Union is facing a deep crisis”, the Cardinal observed: “Brexit brings Europe face to face with an existential question that everyone is invited to answer: why do we need political integration in Europe?”. This question is being answered in a convincing manner only by populist forces in Europe which, “besides having an economic and political agenda, also have a foreign policy, security and migration agenda advocating preclusion and protectionism. In all sectors, they tend to advocate more national solutions”, the Cardinal observed, adding as a warning that “such politics leads to a dead end, the same dead end from which Konrad Adenauer, Alcide De Gasperi and the other founding fathers of Europe saved our continent after the war”. Hence the Cardinal President of COMECE listed the “reasons” for still believing in the EU. The first goes back to the “peaceful foundation of Europe”. “The military escalation in Crimea and in Eastern Ukraine – Card. Marx said – brought about greater uncertainty in Eastern Europe. A united Europe is even today a guarantee of peace”. The second reason is the wellbeing of nations: “The European Union – the Archbishop remarked – is the best place to address the economic and social challenges of globalisation. Sometimes public opinion points the finger at the social distortions of European politics, which are, however, more likely to be a consequence of globalisation”. Finally, there is the role that Europe can play in the world. “The European Union is a means by which Europeans can still influence global economic events and – this is my hope as a churchman – can contribute to defining them in the spirit of the social doctrine of the Church”.

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