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Monthly Archives: February 2016

Postcard from Prague

In this postcard from Prague, Revd Ricky Yates, the Anglican Chaplain in Prague, takes a closer look at Czech attitudes to EU integration and David Cameron’s efforts to reform the EU. He shows that the one issue for which the British Prime Minister found no Czech support was regarding any suggestion of restrictions being introduced, impinging on the right of EU citizens to freely move to and work in other member states.

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Subsidiarity needs to take its rightful place in the EU

Philip Booth and Diego Zuluaga compare and contrast competing understandings of subsidiarity and how they apply to the EU. They show that constitutional understandings of subsidiarity have encouraged the centralisation of power in Brussels which stands in marked opposition to its understanding in Catholic social teaching. They make the case that if we wish European integration to work and to allow individuals, families and communities to flourish, we need to return to the original conception of the subsidiarity principle – one that emphasises free will and encourages responsibility.

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The myth of full British sovereignty

Werner Jeanrond argues that reforming the institutions of the European Union is a noble act – who would not wish to support it – but asking for full national sovereignty today reveals a nostalgic desire to live in a world long gone and plays to the tune of media and corporate managers that neither care for Britain’s nor for Europe’s future.

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One small vote, one hugely important outcome

Tim Livesey takes a closer look at the process of voting in any referendum on UK membership of the EU. He urges the electorate to both vote and to vote in a responsible way. The result of the forthcoming referendum is crucial to all our lives, and many others besides. We cannot predict the precise consequences of either a yes, or a no vote. But we can be sure that a no vote would have huge consequences, most of which are at present largely unexplored.

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A matter of hearts as well as minds

In his latest contribution from Brussels, Bishop Robert Innes – the Bishop in Europe – makes the case that we need to vote with both our hearts and our minds when it comes to the EU referendum. Nobody suggests that the EU’s structures are perfect, but the EU is a matter of give and take, and there is much which Britain can both give and receive from close relationships with its European neighbours

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Postcard from the Hague

In this postcard from the Hague, Andrew Gready the chaplain to the Anglican Church in The Hague explores Dutch attitudes to Brexit. He writes that the Dutch share many of the same concerns as the British re migration, and the integration of refugees, but are keen for the UK to stay in the EU.

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The EU and the culpable silence of English speaking political theology

In this opinion piece Jonathan Chaplin laments the lack of a political theology on the EU. He makes the case that although a well thought out political theology won’t generate detailed policy programmes or constitutional blueprints, it could help the next generation of British and EU political actors to think with greater theological clarity and act with greater political wisdom as they seek to shape the sprawling, fumbling political entity that has become the EU.

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Postcard from St Julien en Genevois

In this postcard from the Franco-Swiss border, Clare Amos reflects on life as a frontalier. She compares the hospitality she receives both sides of the border to the attempts by Britain to restrict in-work benefits to EU migrants.

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Between renegotiation and referendum

Peter Ludlow provides a stock take of British Prime Minister’s efforts to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the EU. He argues that even if the PM is able to secure concessions from his EU counterparts it is far from clear the concessions will satisfy electorate. The referendum in 2016 will be very different to the one in 1975.

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