Religion at the European Parliament (RelEP)


Lead by Prof. Dr. Francois Foret (ULB, Belgium)


Collaborating partner for Germany.

Team Members: Eva-Maria Euchner (FFH / LMU Munich), Carla Herrmann (LMU Munich), Eileen Böhringer (ULB).


The purpose of this international research project is to investigate the beliefs of the members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and what they do with these beliefs. Research questions include: Are European elites more secularized than EU citizens and national politicians? Which effects does religion have on the political socialization of MEPs (cross-party structures, religious lobbies) and, conversely, what is the EP’s influence on religion? How do religion, coalition- and decision-making interact at the European level? What happens in the triangular relationship between nation, Europe, and religion?


For more details see:




  • ·       Eva-Maria Euchner & Carla Herrmann (2023): Vertical inroads of religion into European parliamentary politics: how socialisation and national party affiliation shape German MEPs’ consideration of religion. Religion, State and Society, 51 (4-5): 400-415.

In our sub-project, we focused on German MEPs and enriched the online survey with in-depth interviews. We discover that in European parliamentary politics, the influence of religion is often more unconscious. This interpretation, however, is very much affected by the individual socialisation of German MEPs and the strategies of their national parties, exemplifying the dominance of vertical inroads of religion over horizontal ones.