A political union for everyone - and that's important when naming buildings too
April 19, 2005
The Young European Federalists (JEF-Europe) are concerned about the initiative to name the new part of the European Parliament buildings in Brussels after the late Pope John Paul II, joining the buildings that bear the names of Paul-Henri Spaak and Altiero Spinelli. Several Members of the European Parliament have already stated they are in favour of the idea.
“Spaak and Spinelli devoted their lives to the creation and democratisation of the European Union, while John Paul II devoted his life to achieve objectives related the role of Roman-Catholic church,” stated Jon Worth, the president of JEF-Europe.
“One might argue that his work assisted European integration in some way, but that was not his prime intention.”
“There are several personalities that would better deserve their names being associated with the European integration process and in this light, we believe that the Pope should not be placed alongside the fathers of the EU.”
“There is no question that the Pope was an important person in recent world history, but the institutions of the European Union have to be at the service of all of Europe’s citizens, whatever their background and beliefs.”
“At this time of rising intercultural tensions in Europe, naming a building of the European Parliament after a religious figure would be a profoundly negative sign.”
The Young European Federalists have also previously opposed references to God in the European Constitution, stating their support for the idea of a federal Europe that works in the interests of all its citizens.
Your Press Contact:
Joan Marc Simon,
Tel: +32 2 5120053