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An in-depth analysis of some topics of special interest for pluralism

Boosting a Sustainable Religious Pluralism: Public Order and European Constitutional Identity (SURPLEI)

Boosting a Sustainable Religious Pluralism: Public Order and European Constitutional Identity (SURPLEI)

The right to religious freedom and the guarantee of religious and cultural pluralism are indispensable conditions for building and promoting sustainable and inclusive societies, in which all diversity contributes to the well-being of individuals and communities and to the fight against inequalities. This is all the more true in today's social structures, which are increasingly characterised by different identities, and in which religious, cultural, linguistic and ethnic pluralism requires solutions for living together in difference, without denying it.


The Università degli Studi dell'Insubria Varese-Como, the Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, the Università degli Studi di Milano and the Università degli Studi di Siena responded to these demands, which have become unavoidable in recent years, by launching the PRIN 2022 PNRR research project 'Boosting a Sustainable Religious Pluralism: Public Order and European Constitutional Identity (SURPLEI)', P2022A3L9K, funded by the European Union - Next GenerationEU - Mission 4, Component 2, Investment 1. 1.


The four research units aim respectively to investigate: the role of religious communities in the definition of national and European public orders; the relationship between public order and the right to religious freedom both at the national level and within the European legal spaces; the content of national public orders as limits to the recognition of external confessional acts, norms and measures; the peculiarities of religious freedom in the framework of the constitutional identity of the European Union.


The research aims to understand how and to what extent the right to religious freedom and the principle of public order influences the contemporary relationship between national constitutional traditions and European constitutional identity. Particular attention will be paid to the principle of pluralism not only within the legal space of the European Union, which is its natural and primary field of investigation, but also regarding the role of the European Convention on Human Rights.


Furthermore, the increasing politicisation of the right to religious freedom, which has become increasingly central to the politics of managing religious and cultural pluralism in Europe, paradoxically reveals that this right has become an occasion for the re-proposal of nationalist theories and practices of public policy, often in conflict with pluralism and, ultimately, with the universalist constitutional identity promoted by the European institutions. An unresolved tension between the national and European levels triggers conflictual processes that contradict the goals of social cohesion and sustainability pursued by the different levels of government. This is particularly the case when, at the national level, the reference to public order becomes an instrument to legitimise restrictive disciplines on the right to freedom of religion, in contradiction with its full recognition as a fundamental right.


The research will also examine the role of religious communities both in the definition of pluralist public spaces and in the conflicts generated by their demands for recognition. In particular, the static or dynamic way in which religious communities refer to their normativity to identify and manifest their needs is of great importance for the management of possible conflicts.


As far as research activities are concerned, the four units will periodically organise workshops and seminars, which will not only make it possible to inform the academic public and others of the results obtained, but also to create moments of debate and reflection. Indeed, round tables with religious communities and public actors will be organised, as well as the publication of scientific articles and collective book to enrich the academic debate. In addition, to make the results of the research accessible to a wider public, social profiles (Linkedin and Facebook) have been created to keep up to date with the events and activities carried out. In addition, a podcast will be produced as a means of dissemination of the results of the research activities.



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