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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 28 E/123

(2003/C 28 E/137) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1586/02

by Mario Borghezio (NI) to the Commission

(4 June 2002)

Subject: Display of the image of the crucifix in all the public offices of the European institutions

The crucifix, as a symbol of the universal value of Christian civilisation and culture, is an essential and
integral element of the historical and cultural heritage of Europe’s civilisation and its identity.

The secular nature of the European public institutions must not prevent the display of a symbol which for
millions of European citizens represents the whole set of values and principles on which our civilisation is
based, and which prompted the liberal thinker Benedetto Croce to say that we cannot but affirm that we
are Christians. To respect minorities surely does not mean renouncing, delegitimising or ignoring the
symbols and values which constitute an integral part of the history, culture and tradition of our peoples.

Does the Commission intend to propose that the image of the crucifix should be displayed in a prominent
position and clearly visible to everybody in all the public offices of the European institutions?

Answer given by Mr Prodi on behalf of the Commission

(18 July 2002)

While the Commission shares the Honourable member’s attachment to recalling the traditional values
which are so deeply rooted in Europe, it would not go so far as to suggest to the other European
Institutions which particular symbols they should use in their buildings. The Commission does not
consider that it is either necessary or even desirable to promote the display of crucifixes in particular. Not
necessary, because the values underpinning European integration are evident anyway; and not desirable
because a selective approach to the choice of symbol would be incongruous with the principle of freedom
of religion included in the Charter of Fundamental Rights. For these reasons the Commission will not
propose that the image of the crucifix should be displayed in a prominent position in all the public offices
of the European Institutions.

(2003/C 28 E/138) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1607/02

by Chris Davies (ELDR) to the Commission

(5 June 2002)

Subject: Kashmir

Is the Commission aware of any claims being made formally by the Indian Government that as many as
100 Indian military personnel captured during the conflict in 1971 are still being held by the Pakistan

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(21 June 2002)

The Commission has investigated the matter raised by the Honourable Member and has the pleasure of
sending official information published by the Government of India on its web-site direct to the Honourable
Member and to Parliament’s Secretariat. Indian authorities have confirmed that the answer given by
Mr Omar Abdullah, Minister of State of External Affairs is still up-to-date.

It is hoped that these documents answer the question raised by the Honourable Member. Should this not
be the case, the Commission will be happy to pursue its research further.