Current presidency of the EU
Mgr. Jourdan (Estonia): “a demanding task fulfilled with pride. We have taken back our place in Europe”
SIR - “Though there are a few euro-sceptics, pride prevails for Estonia having taken back its place in Europe, with all the rights and duties that ensue”. The apostolic administrator, Bishop Philippe Jourdan, is in charge of looking after Estonia’s small Catholic community (7 thousand devotees). A minority group, but one that is no less lively and involved in the social and civil life of the country.
Interviewed by SIR in the run-up to the dialogue “(Re)thinking Europe – Christian contribution to the future of the European project”, promoted by Comece and by the Holy See in Vatican City on October 27-29, mgr. Jourdan reflects on the role his country is playing as the current president of the EU Council. It is, he states, a “very demanding task, and all of the country’s ministries and executives are busy receiving the national delegations that come all the time for different European engagements”. “The fact that this way Estonia is making itself known is also appreciated.
The contribution that our country wants to give the EU is very specific but has major ethical consequences: high tech and digitalisation”. And, as Churches, in Estonia, what are you doing in the European semester? “So far we could not give too much of a contribution. We are waiting for November 16th and 17th, when Tallinn will be hosting a more important meeting on ‘Religion. Society. State’, where we, as a Church, are called to have our say”.
As to the Vatican meeting, he points out, instead: “It is a new experience and a new concept of a meeting: 360 degrees on a European scale between political and religious leaders but also a systematic one, with a delegation from each country. It can hardly be imagined. It will certainly be an opportunity for us, as men of the Church, to meet, in a more informal setting, political leaders that are connected with the Catholic Church.
Maybe we will manage to explain them that everyone’s religious beliefs are not a problematic factor, and that the Christian teachings are also a source of inspiration and of new ideas for the European project, for a more stable, stronger Europe that gives people more hope. Because religion is not an obstacle to European progress”.