The EU Bubble Original
The Pope’s foreseen visit to the European Parliament in November is not merely a symbolic occurrence. Many atheists would just wave their hand away at the thought of it. However, the pope is the head of a catholic church with over a 1.2 billion followers globally. From this perspective the catholic church pounds strong influence in comparison to the traditional lobbying from energy or even financial sector. Furthermore, large number of influential people in politics, media and other positions of power still strongly adhere to the christian faith.
However, what will be on the agenda is more than just talk of pure faith, or encouraging words to the newly elected European Parliament and Commission. Vatican city is not only a sovereign state according to the international law. While not part of the EU because it’s not a democracy, therefore it doesn’t comply with the Copenhagen criteria. But, still it has public affairs work with the EU.
Recently a German aristocrat Ernst Von Freyberg left his freshly appointed position as the Vatican bank’s new president. The circumstances for the member’s of sovereign military of Malta departure are unknown to the public, but primarily it was in regards to the secret way the Vatican Bank is governed. Under the pope Benedict, the bank pledged to join the white list of countries that meet the international banking standards.
However, it’s not simple for such an institution as Vatican City to come forward and bare all the details, no matter how faceless bureaucrats for financial regulations are. The Vatican has its own agenda and some policies sometimes last hundreds of years.
During the cold war, the bank was widely seen as a back channel to transfer money to the Eastern Bloc to help end Communism. Today the Vatican uses the bank to help it operate in sensitive areas like Cuba and China, Vatican experts say.
Therefore, for the European Union and in particular Italy to host such a global institution is an advantage. Its global population reach is two times larger than the EU itself. It can act and transmit policies beyond the possibilities of the European External Action Service.
This is why the Pope visit should not be ignored, dismissed or protested. But utilised for the benefit of the EU and the global bubble. No matter how many skeletons lie in Vatican’s closet.