Church representatives discuss Finnish EU Presidency with Prime Minister Antti Rinne

A delegation representing the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland met with Prime Minister Antti Rinne on 3 September, discussing Finnish EU Presidency, European values and the role of churches.

The church representatives welcomed the Finnish EU Presidency Programme Sustainable Europe – Sustainable Future, for being a content with the strong focus on common values.

The delegation also presented to the Prime Minister the joint CEC and the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) contribution to the Finnish EU Presidency Programme, which was presented to Minister of Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto in connection with the CEC-COMECE Presidency meeting that took place in Helsinki in July.

In the meeting participants discussed the need to strengthen the value dimension of the EU, especially regarding human rights, human dignity, democracy and the rule of law. It was also stressed that dialogue between the EU and churches and religious communities (Art 17 TFEU) needs to be enhanced.

A socially inclusive EU including the economy of well-being and a human-centered and ethical approach to digitalization and AI should be promoted.

The delegates also conveyed the need for the EU to a global leader in climate action; caring for the creation and promoting climate justice. It was stressed that developing EU migration policies based on respect for human rights, human dignity and solidarity is essential.

The delegation included Archbishop Tapio Luoma, Director General Pekka Huokuna, Theological Adviser to the Archbishop Petri Merenlahti and Ms. Lena Kumlin, Legal Advisor for European Affairs, from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland.

Read more: Churches-EU Dialogue: CEC and COMECE meet with Finnish EU Presidency

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