The Recognition of Religion within the Constitutional and Political Order of the European Union
This article analyses the recourse to religion as a source of law in the legal and political order of the European Union. It demonstrates that the legitimacy of religious input into law is recognised institutionally, symbolically and substantively. However, religious influence within the Union’s public order must accommodate cultural and humanist influences that can serve to limit attempts to reflect religious teaching in law and which are particularly restrictive of the influence of “outsider” faiths whose demands cannot be routed through culture and those faiths with extensive political ambitions. Thus, the Union’s approach is characterised by a complex and shifting balance between religious, cultural and humanist influences which is struck in a pluralist context that attempts to reconcile the differing balances between such influences in individual Member States with the need to maintain the open and sufficiently religiously neutral common European ethical framework necessary for the functioning of the Union as a polity.
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