chapter  6
14 Pages

From Athens and Berlin to Brussels: reflections on community knowledge and dialogue between the EU institutions and the churches G A RY W I LT O N

For the European Union (EU) the year 2010 was notable for the planned and long-awaited ‘constitutional’ changes anticipated by the Lisbon Treaty.1 It was also notable for the unplanned and unexpected impacts of the economic and financial crisis on the economies of the member states of the EU, the members of the Eurozone in particular. The ratification of the treaty required the institutions to give considerable attention to their developing roles and changed inter-institutional relationships. At the same time the threatened collapse of the Greek economy and the need for substantial German financial support brought the cities of Athens and Berlin regularly to the attention of the world’s media. This juxtaposing of these two European capital cities not only exposed their divergent approaches to economic and financial management but also revealed deep cultural, intellectual and historic differences. This chapter aims to capture these differences and uses Athens and Berlin to symbolise two very different ways of ‘knowing’.