Letter from AEPL "Maladministration of philosophical freedoms

Published on 04/08/2022

Dear President of the European Parliament,

Following the example of the warm welcome you very recently gave to the Comece prelates, the leaders of the European Association of Free Thought (EAFT) would like to have the opportunity to meet you so that you can get to know the EAFT better. At the same time, we would also like to share with you our incomprehension regarding the administrative authorities concerning the application of art. 17. Your administration, which is responsible for managing the art.17 Dialogue, recently announced that it was in charge of the Interfaith dialogue (sic) while completely ignoring philosophical and non-confessional organisations. Similarly, in his speeches, the Vice-President of the EP, Mr Othmar Karas, who is responsible for the Article 17 Dialogue, refers to philosophical organisations, while systematically omitting the official vocabulary of Article 17, which mentions "philosophical organisations". and non-denominational".  It is true that in the European Parliament's presentation of Article 17 on its website, the title also omits non-confessional organisations. In short, this threefold maladministration seems to us to be more than a simple slip of the tongue.

The European Free Thought Association is Europe's largest non-denominational organisation. Our members are spread across 23 European countries, from Portugal to Poland in the east and from Finland to Italy in the south, and we work in 6 languages.

Since the entry into force of the Dialogue Art. 17 of the Treaty of Lisbon TFEU, EAFTA has taken part in a large number of meetings organised by both the European Parliament and the European Commission.

It is important to emphasise that EAFT has fully supported the European project since it was founded in 2007. A large number of its members submitted contributions to the Conference on the Future of Europe. These were the subject of a summary document which we sent to Guy Verhofstadt MEP, the EP's representative on the Executive Committee. It deals in particular with the legislative initiative at Community level, a crucial point for the EP. We are pleased to send you a copy as an annex to this letter. It should also be noted that EAFT has been a partner in two conferences organised by the European Parliament, the most recent being that of 2 March 2020, sponsored by Marc Tarabella MEP and entitled "Europe, land of humanism - Combating extremism".

We look forward to hearing from you.

For the AEPL Board of Directors,


   Tony Van der haegen Guy T'hooft

   Head of Relations. President

   with the European institutions                                                                       


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