Pope Francis urged the European Union to “recover the unity if it wants a future

Pope Francis waves as he arrives during his Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican, October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
Vastavam web: Pope Francis, in a major speech on Europe, on Saturday urged the European Union to “recover the sense of being a single community” if it wants a future of prosperity and fairness for all.While the pope did not specifically mention the situation in Catalonia, where the region’s leaders want to break away from Spain, or Britain’s decision to leave the EU, he spoke often of solidarity, teamwork and mutual sacrifice.
“A European Union that, in facing its crises, fails to recover a sense of being a single community that sustains and assists its members – and not just a collection of small interest groups – would miss out not only on one of the greatest challenges of its history, but also on one of the greatest opportunities for its own future,” he said.In elections in Germany in September, Alternative for Germany (AfD) secured almost 13 percent of the vote, making it the third largest party and the first far-right party to win seats in more than half a century.
“Extremist and populist groups are finding fertile ground in many countries; they make protest the heart of their political message, without offering the alternative of a constructive political project,” Francis said, without naming any group.In his address to the pope at the closing ceremony, Tajani, the European Parliament president, spoke of “risk of a return to intolerance and xenophobia”.The pope called for immigrants to be welcomed to Europe as an enriching resource, rather than be seen as a threat.