On April 8 and 9 the CEC Thematic Reference Group on EU Policy and Legislation met in Athens at the Second Evangelical Church, facilitated by member Dr Altana Filos. The group discussed inter alia legal action taken by Slovakia and Hungary against the EU Council to annul the decision on the relocation of refugees from Italy and Greece, the public consultation of the European Ombudsman on the transparency of the trilogue, the state of play of the debate about the UK EU referendum and the position of the churches in Europe.
The group members and their secretary OKRin Katrin Hatzinger had the pleasure of meeting the secretary general of the Evangelical Church in Greece, Dimitris Boukis, who informed them about the history of the church and its legal status after the official recognition as a legal entity by the Greek state in 2014. He expressed his gratitude to CEC for supporting his church on the way to this achievement. Moreover he informed the group about the commitment of the church in assisting vulnerable refugees, for example in Idomeni at the Greek-Macedonian border.
They also had an exchange with Georgios Adam, the pastor of the Second Evangelical Church in Athens, which was originally a refugee church. They learned about the structure of the Evangelical Church in Greece and the challenges being a minority church in a primarily orthodox environment. Finally the group visited the newly established social center of the parish where the church is assisting the youth in the neighborhood as well as homeless people and refugees.