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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

The Politics of Religious Lobbies in the European Union

Political controversies on the 'Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe' and disputes over religious symbols in the public sphere show that religion has become more visible in the corridors of European institutions.

Through a comparative analysis of religious communities in Brussels, the project addresses the following questions:

  1. How do (trans)national religious communities approach European institutions?
  2. What are the rationale and the mechanisms of religious interest representation?
  3. How are religious values transposed into political strategies?
  4. And, how has the construction of the European Union been influenced by religious communities?

The project challenges the predominant perception that religious communities have had little impact on the process of European integration. It investigates the role of religious communities in the construction of the European Union by focusing on relations between religious policy practitioners and EU technocrats from the Second World War until today.

The project draws on qualitative and quantitative data; interviews with religious policy practitioners and EU technocrats; unpublished archival material; official declarations of religious and EU bodies; national legislation on religion; codes of conduct; and the European Values Survey and the European Social Survey.