Patrons in 2016: European
Cardinal Rainer
Maria Woelki
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Europe – Identity or Strategy?

In a time of prolix talk about economic crises and loss of values, the Meeting’s individual events aim to trace Europe back to its roots: Which factors have determined our present community? Is there something that distinguishes our culture as unique?

Examining Europe as a theme we seek to discover the origin of our freedom anew, in the hope of deepening our understanding of who we are as persons. Our aim is to broaden our view to encompass the human.

The Rhine Meeting thus endeavours to access Europe’s identity on a level beyond state contracts and government agreements, beyond purely political and economic calculations, and beyond a backward-looking European ‘traditionalism’.

If the process of European integration is to succeed, we need to understand how communication among nations really can make for a better future, for the individual as well as for society. We need to discover our religious and cultural riches afresh, and to take our historical experience seriously, including its implications for the present: Is Europe nothing but the result of abstract strategies? Or does it also allow for a model of living together that more closely corresponds to its citizens’ desires and needs?


Programme 2014