Europe’s core values: democracy, dignity, freedom and equality

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Students and lecturers from across Europe and the Lebanon met in the medieval Italian town of Gubbio this summer to learn, discuss and question the ideas and experiences that give shape to the continent of Europe.

The event is part of a project called ‘European Humanism in the Making’, organised by the European Federation of Catholic Universities (EFCU), of which Maynooth College is a very active member.

When Pope Francis received the European Union’s highest award – the Charlemagne Prize – in 2016, he called on Europe to revitalise its core values of dignity, freedom, equality and democracy, among others.

“Europe will be able to confront the problems associated with immigration only if it is capable of clearly asserting its own cultural identity,” Pope Francis said.

Each day of the EFCU conference was dedicated to a different theme: history, culture, science, politics and citizenship. SPCM Registrar, Dr Michael Shortall, who represented Maynooth at the conference, led the group which examined European Social Humanism and Catholic Social Teaching.