In this debate, you can watch Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), Nirj Deva (ECR), Antigoni Papadopoulou (S&D) and Nadja Hirsch (ALDE) voice their views on the Protection of a work free Sunday in the EU.
The main purpose for writing this article is to respond to the relentless attempts in recent times to legislate in the European Union, Sunday as an official weekly rest day. The lobbyists championing this cause have been among other associations, the Roman Catholic Bishops (COMECE), some Protestants church representatives and certain Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). I will now provide a synopsis of the background on this issue and show how it has developed to the present day.
J.O. Corliss – Liberty Magazine – 1908 – “California is the only State in the American Union without a Sunday law. From 1858 to 1883 a Sunday-rest statute in that State was made so annoying to many of its citizens that it became an object of political contention. The supposed dominant party, through church affiliations, inserted a plank in its platform, pledging itself to maintain the Sunday law for the betterment of the laboring class. The other party went to the polls, on a pledge to repeal the existing statute requiring Sunday rest, on the ground of its hostility to religious rights.”
The result was a political upheaval in favor of repealing all Sunday laws in the State of California. About the same time the State supreme court handed down a decision in the case of ex parte Newman, declaring a Sunday law unconstitutional. Since then three attempts have been made by the churches to have the legislature re-enact a Sunday-law statute. These advances have been coldly met, on the ground that any such statute could have no force in the face of the constitutional limitation.
The Protestant Church in Germany (EKD), COMECE (the Bishops Conference of the European Community), and the Church of England are calling upon the European Union Parliament to approve a Written Declaration on “on the protection of a work-free Sunday as an essential pillar of the European Social Model and as part of the European cultural heritage.”