Churches discuss policies to combat poverty with the EU Commissioner László Andor

Press Release No: 10/33

Dialogue Seminar on “Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion in the Framework of the EU 2020 Strategy”

A Dialogue Seminar on policies to combat poverty and social exclusion will take place on 9 July 2010 at the European Commission in Brussels. It is co-organised by the Bureau of European Policy Advisors of the European Commission together with the Church & Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and the Secretariat of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE).

In the context of the European Year 2010 for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, the Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches (CSC of CEC) and the Secretariat of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) will meet with representatives of the European Commission to discuss EU’s policies to combat poverty and social exclusion. The churches in Europe will plead for a stronger political commitment of the European Union and its Member States to work towards a society that enables everyone to live in dignity.

In June 2010, the European Council agreed on a poverty and social exclusion target of lifting 20 million people out of poverty by 2020. However, Member States have been left free to set their own national targets on the basis of the most appropriate indicators, taking into account their national circumstances and priorities. If this political decision is a good step in the direction of the reduction of poverty and social exclusion, then the lack of political incentives for Member States might thwart the practical implementation of this strategy

Keynote speakers at the Dialogue Seminar are the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Mr László Andor, Archbishop em. Jukka Paarma from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, Bishop Giuseppe Merisi, Bishop of Lodi and President of Caritas Italia and Philippe Courard, Belgium Secretary of State for Social Inclusion and Combat against Poverty (tbc.).

Dialogue Seminars have a longstanding tradition in the cooperation between the European Commission and the Churches in Europe. Since their beginning in the early 1990s, they have proved to be a significant discussion forum for matters of common concern. They represent an important element of the open, transparent and regular dialogue between the European Commission and the Churches in Europe.

Preliminary programme of the Dialogue Seminar

A final press release will be available after the event

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The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a fellowship of some 120 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all countries of Europe, plus 40 associated organisations. CEC was founded in 1959. It has offices in Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg.

The Church and Society Commission of CEC links member churches and associated organisations of CEC with the European Union’s institutions, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, NATO and the UN (on European matters). Its task is to help the churches study church and society questions from a theological and social-ethical perspective, especially those with a European dimension, and to represent common positions of the member churches in their relations with political institutions working in Europe.

For more information:
Church and Society Commission of CEC
Phone +32 2 230 17 32
Fax +32 2 231 14 13
e-mail: csc@cec-kek.be

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