The present global crisis which Europe has to confront in the next decades will require a deeper cultural awareness and effective political action. Tensions and social contradictions are currently in evidence and call for a re-thinking of the European modern tradition and a new formulation of moral and political principles in light of concrete social practices.
The issues now calling for a philosophical, political and cultural reflection and action are complex and challenging: justice beyond boundaries; the environmental crisis; immigration and the ethos of multicultural societies; the crisis of institutions and the need for a reformulation of the European project; economic inequalities and the resulting social turmoil; digital transformation and the rise of AI; the systemic tensions generated by a capitalistic economy.
Social ethics might be a viable approach to address all these issues. Rather than simply applying ethical models to raw social facts, social ethics critically unveils moral claims within social practices and attempts to identify the inner normative foundations of social and political systems.
The European Centre for Social Ethics*, established on January 15th, 2017, at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan, aims to create a network among the scholars and international Centres engaging these topics and mission, as well as institutions and social and economic influencers, in order to propose and adopt adequate visions and policies.
* former International Research Centre for European Culture and Politics (IRCECP).