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Науково-практична Інтернет-конференція 04.10.2018 - СЕКЦІЯ №1
At the second decade of the new millennium European Union has plunged into a deep crisis. «The European Union has been recently exposed to the multiple shocks of the Great Recession, the migrant crisis, and Brexit», – declare Andrea LP Pirro and Paul Taggart [1] Thus, there is a real threat of EU disintegration. This threat put on the agenda the need for a systematic update of the European Union. Obviously, the restoration of the building of the European Union must begin from its basic structure – the legal system. But for this, first of all, it is necessary to recall the spirit kernel that this construction holds. 
In a broad general sense, European law is a complex of legal systems, united by the common cultural and civilization tradition of Europe. It should be reminded that the European project was conceived as a spiritual-based and value-oriented civilization association from its beginning. Robert Schumann, one of this project’s developers, believed that European reunion would not be possible without «inspiration coming from its Christian origins», and Europe is «the embodiment of universal democracy, in the Christian sense of the word» [2, p. 50]. The idea of a united Europe, which was embodied in the Treaty of Rome on the establishment of European Communities more than 60 years ago, has deep roots based on Christianity. Most scholars agree that organized Christianity appears as a unifying force on the continent since the Middle Ages. Describing the historical process of forming the concept of Europe as a holistic entity, Norman Davis points out that in the absence of common political structures, European civilization could only be determined by the criteria of culture, the special significance of which usually gives the underlying role of Christianity [3, p. 7]. 
Those who really care about the future of the European Union should remember the Jacques Delors’s prophecy, which in 1992 declared that “if in the next twenty years we will not give our soul to Europe, taking into account its spirituality and meaning, then the game will be lost”. According to Kenneth Houston, during the decade of J. Delors’s tenure as European Commission President (1985-1995), the involvement of religion played a more prominent role in strategic and affective considerations for further European integration [4]. The basic documents developed under his leadership allowed the European communities to transform into the European Union. So, Christian Democrats’ ideas provided a powerful impetus to the process of creating the European Union.
Reflecting on the challenges and perspectives of the EU, Charles Taylor notes that no matter how anyone expresses their convictions and their position vis-à-vis the church, the roots of Europe are Christian, and there is no way to get rid of it. The scholar concludes that the first general point is the obvious fact that religion has often been and continues to be an important component of many political identities. This is clearly visible, in some cases, when it acts as the most important marker recognized as insiders and outsiders. But religious identity also plays a different role – as the basis of general, ethical, constitutional principles [5, p. 20-22]. In this context, it is interesting to mention the statements of Alcide de Gasperi on the content of Christian heritage in European civilization: «When I say that Christianity stands at the origins of European civilization, I do not intend to pick up any exclusively confessional criterion for assessing our history. I point to a common European heritage only, to the moral that emphasizes human and his responsibilities» [6, p. 112]. 
The relationship between morality and law is a central theme in the debate that unfolds around the spiritual values of European law. «Such themes are found in current debates – crucial debates in which the requirement for truth and integrity (meaning) sometimes collides with the idea of liberty, – Zaki Laidy asserts. - The Christian European movement has in effect not made up its mind whether to accept the idea that the invasive market principles can dispense with any form of transcendence. It shows a reluctance to accept that liberty might become the absolute that would be the basis for founding Europe to the detriment of a search for a certain truth» [7, p. 69].
It should be noted that the Lisbon Treaty, which was signed by the leaders of the EU member states in 2007 and came into force in 2009, enshrines the basic principles such as pluralism, tolerance, solidarity, non-discrimination both within member states and outside of them [8]. Although the Christian parties demanded the inclusion in this document, which defines the main directions of the restructuring of the European Union, also a provision on the prominent role of Christian values in ensuring European unity. In this sense, they emphasized the Christian roots of Europe and advocated that European identity and ideals can not ignore the role of Christianity in their formation. For them, the European idea must be in line with Christianity. In this regard, Kenneth Houston points out that even before the controversy over the Invocatio Dei, proposed for inclusion in the preamble to the European Union’s defunct Draft Constitution, the role of religion in European integration had moved toward the center of political consciousness. [4]. However, the signatories of the document contrary to the recommendations of the clerics refused to include the provisions on Christian values as the basis of European integration, although they mentioned the significance of religion as a whole. According to Sergey Mudrov, the text of the Lisbon Treaty reflects the struggle between religious and secular actors [9]. So, as a result 10 years ago the position of secular multiculturalism has overcame. However, dramatic events unfolding recently in the European Union - the onslaught of migrants from the Muslim countries of the Middle East, a surge in Islamist terrorist attacks, which in turn resulted in the strengthening of ultra-right parties and, finally, led to Brexit – have shown that the rebuilding of the European palace on the principles of secularism led to the it cracking. Consequently, the historical lessons and realities of today lead to the conclusion that the need to preserve European identity puts on the agenda of current EU policy the task of Christian spirit’s inspiration into EU law principles.
The analysis of basic legal acts shows that European values are the complex spiritual and moral formation based on the principles of humanism such as human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity. But in order to preserve these principles from destruction, it is necessary to find their roots and strengthen it. Some scholars, and no such few, especially in Europe, argue that this is rooted in secularism. Speaking about the humanist foundations of human rights and freedoms, they oppose anthropocentric worldview to theocentric. Considering rationalism as the driving force of development, including the system of law, secularists consider religious beliefs as obstacles to progress. They value the Rule of Law from the point of view of the existence of secular laws, and human rights in their understanding is such a universal law, which is developed by people for people [10]. However, in our opinion, such an approach is superficial and does not reflect the depth of the valuable understanding of the concept of «human rights and freedoms».
And although, indeed, humanistic principles were first obtained by legal consolidation only at the end of the XVIII century, it is safe to assert that they were formed for centuries in the framework of Christian ethics. Humanitarian spirit of European law has its own source in the Biblical commandments. Love, charity and right to life are the fundamental principles of the Christian humanism. Human dignity as an ethical category acts as an axiological and teleological core of law principles. Such axiological pillars as freedom, justice and responsibility are the connecting links in the relation between European principles of law and Christian values. Current EU crisis shows the need for the legal state as a guarantor of the balance of human rights and freedoms with duties and responsibilities as higher Christian virtues. Divine origin of law and its subjective perception as justice explain the spiritual foundation of the Rule of Law principle. The Rule of Law establishes the supremacy of truth and justice, over formal legacy and political ideology; the priority of human rights over the interests of the state; non-interference of the state with private life, especially in matters of faith, and self-government of civil society structures, including religious organizations. Thus, it can be considered proven that the Christian values constitute the axiological basis of European law. So, it have to be implemented in the norms of law and must remain a powerful factor that regulates social relations, even in a secularized Europe, especially in such sensitive areas as family, the birth and education of children, and the care for those in need. Europe should abandon any moral permissiveness. Europeans have to recall the Gospel commandments and the principles of self-restraint, responsibility and solidarity inherent in the spiritual rules of Christianity and to consolidate them at the legislative level.
The Christian spirit lies in the constituent documents and the main legal acts of the EU and the Council of Europe, even if they declare freedom of religion. Christian ethics fills the constituent acts of the EU with moral content. By ignoring the Christian «spirit of laws», the existing secular multicultural project of the EU has created ambivalent and controversial feelings about the establishment of European identity and the implementation of the European legal norms into the humanitarian sphere. Because the principles of European law are fed from the source of Christian humanism. Under the conditions of democracy, the embodiment of Christian priorities in the legal system does not repel others to the marginal periphery, but, on the contrary, consolidate society. Using the positive experience of combining the principles of European law and Christian values will contribute to the improvement of Ukrainian legal system.

1. Pirro, A. and Taggart, P. (2018). The populist politics of Euroscepticism in times of crisis: A framework for analysis. The Politics SAGE Journals (Special Issue). Retrieved from: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0263395718770579 (accessed 02 September 2018).
2. Vanheeswijck, G. (1997). How can we overcome a policy of inarticulacy? More Europe? A critical Christian inquiry into the process of European integration. Kampen: Pharos, pp. 49-58.
3. Norman, D. (2006) Istoriya Yevropy [History of Europe]. Moscow: Khranitel’. (in Russian).
4. Houston, К. (2011). Religion and European Integration: Predominant Themes and Emerging Research Priorities. Religion Compass, vol. 5, is. 8,  pp. 462-476. Retrieved from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1749-8171.2011.00291.x/abstract (accessed 04 September 2018).
5. Taylor, Ch. (2013). Religion and European Integration. Religion in the New Europe. K. Michalski (ed.) Central European University Press, pp. 1-22. Retrieved from: http://books.openedition.org/ceup/1271 (accessed 04 September 2018).
6. Venner, G., & Ferrara, O. R. (2009) Alcide De Gasperi and Antonio Messineo: A Spiritual Conception of Politics and a Pragmatic Idea of Religion? Religion, State and Society, vol. 37, no. 1 & 2, (Special Issues), pp. 108-123.
7. Laїdi Zaki. (1998). A world without meaning: the crisis of meaning in international politics. Tansl by J. Burnham, J. Coulon. New York: Routlege.
8. Treaty of Lisbon. Amending the Treaty of European Union and the Treaty Establishing the European Community (2007). EUR-Lex. Access to European Union law, 01 Dec. Retrieved from: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A12007L%2FTXT (accessed 08 September 2018).
9. Mudrov, S. (2016) Religion in the Lisbon Treaty: Aspects and Evaluation. Journal of Contemporary Religion, vol. 31, is. 1, pp. 1-16. Retrieved from: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13537903.2016.1109863 (accessed 08 September 2018).
10. Definition of the most basic European Values (2016). Creative Commons by EuropeanValues.info. Retrieved from: http://europaeischewerte.info/fileadmin/templates/ Documents/ewdef_en.pdf (accessed 09 September 2018). {jcomments on}

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