Database for Religious topics in EU legal texts
Coming across the religious subject in the EU, some statistics could be helpful. “In a survey by Berlin market research company Dalia Research in December 2016, participants were specifically asked to state their own religious affiliations. According to this, 50% of EU citizens describe themselves as Christian (42% Catholic, 8% Protestant). 38% of respondents said they had no religion. 3% describe themselves as Muslims, 1% as Jews, 1% as Buddhists, and 8% belong to other faiths.
Regarding the six largest EU countries, the greatest numbers of professed Catholics are found in Italy (73%), Poland (71%) and Spain (53%), while the majority of the population in France (58%) and the UK (54%) described themselves as having no religion. In Germany, on the other hand, there is an above-average number of Protestants (26%), around the same percentage as the Catholics (25%). France has the highest proportion of Muslims (7%), followed by Germany (5%) and the UK (4%).” [https://www.europe-infos.eu/the-religious-landscape-in-europe]
Many activities are being carried out to better the life of people within the EU. The religious freedom is among the issues discussed in Courts and universities. Still there are many empty places on the religious topics and especially on the legal perspectives, as it is written that “Given the debates on the role of religion in Europe, the uncertainty and vagueness of the available data come as a real surprise. At present, there is no reliable, up-to-date data on religious affiliation in many European countries, as shown by the Swiss Metadatabase of Religious Affiliation in Europe (SMRE). In addition, many of the statistics relating to religion contradict one another, possibly because the question of religious affiliation is sometimes raised objectively, sometimes subjectively.” [https://www.europe-infos.eu/the-religious-landscape-in-europe]
Some recent works are published on religious issues and many websites are available such as:
Elizabeta Kitanovic / Patrick Roger Schnabel (Editors). Religious Diversity in Europe and the Rights of Religious Minorities. Geneva: Edition CEC at Globethics.net, 2019
ISBN 978-2-88931-270-2 (online version) ISBN 978-2-88931-271-9 (print version)
Birgit Meyer, Terje Stordalen (Editors). Figurations and Sensations of the Unseen in Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Contested Desires. Bloomsbury Collections
Database for research in Canon Law at the KU Leuven
EuropeInfos, Christian perspective on the EU.
Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures Project
Association of Religions Data Archives, Quality Data on Religion.
Ecclesiastical Law Society
European Court of Human Rights
As it appears on the Status Questionis, there is still the need of an instrument that brings together all the religious occurrences in legal texts of EU institutions as well as EU members. Other databases do exist within the EU system on other matters such as:
The Minor Uses
The Suspected Adverse Drug Reports
European Severe Weather Database
European Database on Asylum Law
Hydrogen Law Database
When facing a case related to religious freedom or religious right in one EU country, Researchers, Students, Scholars, Law Professionals and Institutions have to use a country search method or read a huge number of pages, sometimes written in unknown languages. They can also fall into the temptation to use comments delivered by Newspapers or non-specialized sources.
THE AIM OF THE PROJECT:
Therefore, there is a serious need to build up a database exclusively dedicated to all the legal texts, Constitutional’s articles, Laws, Decisions in used in EU countries. That database will be a place to keep these documents, provide people with the opportunity to easily access these texts, and work them out. The Interdisciplinary Journal of Ecclesiastical Law presents on online through arthro13.com initiates that project. Concretely, it consists to a collection of these texts and organize them inside a database accessible online. At this level of there are a few numbers of sections: the collection of the material divided into geographic areas (Northern Europe; Central Europe; Southern Europe; Eastern Europe, and Western Europe)
The Research Team includes four Principal Investigators (PI)
Contact Principal Investigator:
Radboud University Nijmegen -The Netherlands
University of Athens - Greece
University of Nicosia Law school - Cyprus
The project is supposed to last for three years from 2020.
COST & FUNDING
The realisation of such a huge project needs funds to carry out field, administrative and technical work.
The European Research Council through the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Program (REC) can be one prior financial support of the project.
We are looking for other sources.
The current project is situated in an interdisciplinary space including Law, IT, History, Geography and Languages for instance. However, the juridical, the language and database management are the three principal techniques exploited.
The juridic interest of this project highlights the different types and aspects of quotations on religious matters throughout the legal texts of the 28 national EU States members as well as the EU Institutions themselves such as the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. This implies the exploration for each country and EU Institution of Constitutions, Decrees, Laws and any other forms of juridical text with direct or indirect link to religious issues. For that reason, the text analysis will be used to check the religious content of the EU juridical texts, while the conceptual perspective will serve to expose the concept of database as a dynamic, thematic and referential search engine.
As it obviously appears, the project will obligatory involves all the official languages of the various countries and those commonly used by the EU Institutions.
On the technological approach, the project will end up in a database. Therefore, an accurate knowledge of database building and management is one key technique of the whole project. It will be more than inserting data in an existing interface such as SQL, Oracle or Quinta. The task here will consist in creating a complete new, unique, functional and relevant interface that allows scholars, lawyers, professionals, politicians, students and researchers searching through a single word or a phrase.
An additional feature in the database could be presentation of some significant case-studies. They could be meaningful in comparative text analysis method that will come out to unveil the lessons from previous situations.
Europe is becoming a place to come across situations associated with religious matters. This first origin is in the historical construction of the European societies with a significant place and role of churches and other religious organizations. The other reason is due to people migrating in and out Europe with their religious specificities that has a deep impact on the European social daily life. Moreover, the political democratic changes that occur to the various places bring out new questions directly connected to the religious sphere. For instance, what defines a religion in a secular Constitution? How do the various national European constitutions affect European Union’s institutions on the aspect of religion? How do the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights are dealing with religious issues? Furthermore, some EU countries have a high sense of religiosity. Thus, how can they work and integrate foreign citizens from the legal perspective? These questions and many other are the concerns of scholars, students, researchers, NGO Members, Lawyers and politicians. Precisely talking about the EU, there is not yet a place, whether physical or digital where legal resources on religious topics can be founded.