EU draft guidelines pulled after Vatican complains Christmas ‘canceled’

Paris Discovery Guide

The European Commission (EU) has retracted its draft guidelines for internal communications, which propose substituting the “Christmas period” with “holiday period”.

An outcry by conservatives and the Vatican led the U-turn on the policy, which termed the document an attempt to “cancel” Europe’s Christian roots.

The EU Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, said the draft guidelines had aimed to highlight European diversity and showcase the “inclusive nature of the European Commission.”

The draft didn’t meet Commission standards and failed to achieve its stated purpose, she said.

Commenting that “The guidelines clearly need more work,” Dalli said the next version would take into account concerns that had been raised.

These concerns included Italian conservatives saying the guidelines were “cancelling Christmas”.

Another voice raised against the EU guidelines was that of the Vatican’s secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

He made his views known with an unusually sharp critique in a video Tuesday on the Vatican News portal.

While he lauded efforts to eradicate discrimination in the EU bloc, Parolin said initiatives can’t involve the “cancellation of our roots, the Christian dimension of our Europe, especially with regard to Christian festivals.

“Of course, we know that Europe owes its existence and its identity to many influences, but we certainly cannot forget that one of the main influences, if not the main one, was Christianity itself,” he said.

Antonio Tajani of Italy’s center-right Forza Italia party and the president of the constitutional affairs commission of the European Parliament was delighted at the retraction of the EU guidelines.

“Viva Natale!” (“Long live Christmas!”), Tajani tweeted.

“Long live a Europe of common sense.”


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