Dialogue with European Political Institutions
A significant part of CEC work is dialogue with political institutions in Brussels and Strasbourg, especially the European Union and the Council of Europe. We monitor and analyse the activity of the EU, and provide our Member Churches with regular information and opportunity for engagement.
Dialogue with the European Institutions takes place under Article 17 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union. This is a commitment of the EU to open, transparent, and regular dialogue with churches and religious communities.
We often partner with Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE), the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME), and others in our dialogue with the EU.
CEC dialogue with the EU includes :
- Regular dialogue seminars with the European Commission on topics of shared concern (e.g., the integration of migrants, human trafficking, social issues, human rights, environment).
- Meetings with the presidency of the Council of the EU. CEC brings representatives from local churches into direct dialogue with the EU through these meetings.
- High-level religious leaders’ meeting at the European Commission, an interfaith gathering where senior religious leaders enjoy an open exchange of views with the EU institutions.
- Ad-hoc meetings, workshops, and conferences with participation from church representatives and experts, and representatives of political institutions (e.g., religious freedom, climate change, divestment in fossil fuels)
- Contributions to public consultations organised by the EU (e.g. consultation on EU neighbourghood policy, EU guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of belief)
2 Dec, 2015
Today the European Commission convened a Dialogue Seminar focussed on looking beyond the immediate humanitarian crisis provoked by the recent influx of migrants and refugees on European soil. COMECE, CEC, and CCME gathered experts and Church leaders from across Europe to discuss models of integration, best practices, and the fundamental values that guide integration within the European Union.
1 Dec, 2015
On 1 December senior religious leaders, victims of faith-based persecution, and members of the European Institutions gathered at the European Parliament for a conference “The Persecution of Christians in the World: A call for action.”
16 Jun, 2015
Living together and disagreeing well: High-level meeting with religious leaders at European Commission
On 16 June senior Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, and Mormon leaders gathered for the 11th annual high-level meeting at the European Commission.
16 Jan, 2015
Churches led wide-ranging discussions with the Latvian Presidency team on religious freedom and tolerance, climate change, migration, security strategy and conflict prevention and EU neighbourhood policy. Within a week of taking on the Presidency of the European Council, the Latvian Minister of Justice, Dzintars Rasnačs, received a delegation of representatives from the Christian churches of Europe to discuss the Latvian Presidency agenda.
19 Dec, 2014
In the closing days of the Italian EU Presidency, Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentilioni met with a joint delegation of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) and the Conference of European Churches (CEC) on 18 December in Rome. Delegates present at the meeting urged the presidency for concrete action on youth unemployment, migration, and freedom of religion and belief.
27 Nov, 2014
An estimated 800,000 women, men, and children are victims of human trafficking within the EU today. The EU and its member states urgently need to implement the legal framework already in place and to intensify cooperation with civil society and church organisations that work with victims at the grassroots level. This was one of the main messages of the Dialogue Seminar organised by COMECE and the Church and Society Commission of CEC in cooperation with CCME in dialogue with the EU Commission on 27 November.
8 May, 2014
The Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) and the Conference of European Churches (CEC) held a joint consultation on the theme “Improving the Situation of Roma People in Europe: Challenges and open questions” under the auspices of the Greek Presidency of the European Union. This consultation took place in Athens from 5-7 May 2014 on the gracious invitation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
13 Jan, 2014
On 10 January 2014, three days after the official start of the Greek EU Presidency, the Greek Deputy Foreign Minister with specific responsibility for European Affairs, Dimitris Kourkoulas, received a delegation of senior Greek and European churchmen in Athens. Also in attendance were senior officials from the Foreign Ministry.
17 Dec, 2012
On 14 December, CEC joined forces with COMECE and the Bureau of Policy Advisers of the European Community to hold a dialogue seminar, "How to build a European Model of the Social Market Economy?"
14 Dec, 2012
Press releases and speeches related to the 14 December dialogue seminar "How to build a European Model of the Social Market Economy?"