Posts From Ludwig Ring-Eifel

What will be Pope Francis’ message?

Welche politische Botschaft hat Papst Franziskus?

EN | DE | IT | FR – On November 25th, Pope Francis will be in Strasbourg to address the two main European institutions. As Pope John Paul II did before him in 1988, he too will address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the European Parliament. But so many things have changed in the 26 years since the Polish Pope’s epoch-marking visited those institutions, which were still ruled by Western Europe back then! Impatiently can we now look at Strasbourg and see whether Pope Francis has a vision for Europe, and what such vision is like.

Stop the slaughterers in Iraq

Stoppt mörder im Iraq

EN | DE | IT – The news of the brutal massacres by ISIS troops in Iraq against Christians, Yazidis, and Shiites have turned on a new debate on war and peace in the Christian Churches of Europe. Essentially, the question is whether it is morally permissible to help beleaguered nations or ethnic groups in other countries with the use of weapons and force.

The Strasbourg Burqa judgment

Das Straßburger Burka-Urteil

EN | DE | IT – July 1st, 2014 was not a good day for religious freedom and for the rights of minorities in Europe. On this day, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that states have the right to restrict heavily the rights of the public practice of religion. The specific case concerns the prohibition of the Burqa in public spaces which the French Republic introduced in 2011 as the first country in Europe. This Burqa ban does not violate the human rights of Muslim women, according to the opinion of the majority of judges in Strasbourg.

Not so bad as it seemed

Nicht so schlimm wie es scheint

ED | DE | IT – It is not easy, the day after, to gain an overview on whom and what the citizens voted for in the 28 EU States. As with the famous Pieter Bruegel’s painting “The Peasant Wedding”, the viewer loses himself in the many details and at first sees mainly those details which seem to be particularly dramatic. But one should not lose sight of the whole picture, despite these glaring details. And the picture does not look so bad at all. The turnout has slightly risen (to 43.1%). But above all: more than 70% of Europeans voted for parties that support the European Union and the political road to the unification of Europe, even though with some criticism on single issues.

War and Peace in Europe

Krieg und Frieden in Europa

DE | EN | IT – With the annexation of Crimea and its risky separatism poker in Eastern Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has brought back a question into the political game, which seemed almost forgotten: the “national interest” of states. This question was an integral part of the logic of the 19th and 20th century, the guiding star of the foreign policy of most European powers.

The boundaries of solidarity

Die Grenzen der Solidarität

EN | DE | IT – (Germany) – On 9 April, the police have cleared a makeshift refugee camp in the center of Berlin, which for a year had provided accommodation for over 100 people. Those who were staying in the center were moved to a hostel or other safe facilities, where, in addition to finding a bed, they received a grant of 100 Euros.
The refugee camp in the German capital has caused a stir, but also fueled many conflicts. The sanitary conditions were poor, the residents of the area felt harassed.