Tuesday, 12 July 2011
We're back from Brussels after an intense few days learning about the EU, how COMECE works and...forestry!
The trip provided us with a unique chance to understand the EU - love it or hate it - as well as see how the European machine all fits together. We saw how different groups view each other and what they do, and interestingly what the EU sees as religions role in the greater running of the European Parliament, Commission and Council.
For me one of the most fascinating chats we had was with the man responsible for religious dialogue at the European Commission - he say it as his job to let them all have a chance to contribute and air their problems. This was good. However, he also noted that they weren't allowed to talk about contentious issues such as abortion, euthanasia - as 'the EU knows their stance on these issues', I found this a bit more disheartening, that religion didn't get to logical explain our stand points.
Thankfully, the World Youth Alliance are there to fill this gap. I really enjoyed our talk by the WYA, where the members explained what they do, how they campaign and how they lobby Parliament. This direct tactic and the conviction they had was impressive and inspiring. It made me believe that Youth have a voice at the European stage on life issues.
Although we only had two days of meetings we packed a lot in!
Next we're off to visit a Prison with Fr Malachy.