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Does Religion Matter? In Search of a Secular Rationale of the EU Neighbourhood Policy: Cases of Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan

  • Hikmet Kirik
  • Pelin SönmezEmail author
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Abstract

Recently, controversial issue of the role of Christianity in the formation of European identity has made an important comeback to European public agenda. It is recognised as a basis of law in the European Union’s (EU) constitutional order through the notion such as pluralism, balance and inheritance. It makes the EU’s search for a dialogue with a majority of Muslim countries in the Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) rather interesting policy preference. This article examines how the notion of European secularism has been reflected upon European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) regarding the freedom of religion and belief. Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan are chosen as three country cases to observe EU’s position on religious freedom—the major concept of its secular rationale. Analysis of the official documents in regard to EU and revealing requirements and technical/financial support of the ENP for freedom of religion or belief can result in evaluating possible outcomes of whether religion really matters for the EU under the ENP dialogue.

Keywords

Freedom of religion European union European neighbourhood policy Egypt Jordan Lebanon 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public Relations and Political Science, Faculty of Political SciencesIstanbul UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Department of International Relations, Faculty of Economics and Administrative SciencesKocaeli UniversityKocaeliTurkey

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