Press Release No: 19/17 issued
jointly with the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union
15 July 2019
An ecumenical delegation composed of representatives from the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) met in Helsinki on 12 July 2019 with Mr. Pekka Haavisto, Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs, to exchange on the priorities of the Finnish Presidency of the EU Council.
This meeting is part of a long-standing tradition supported by Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU), which foresees an open, transparent and regular dialogue between the EU institutions and churches.
The delegation included Fr. Olivier Poquillon, o.p., General Secretary of COMECE, Rev. Dr Peter Pavlovic, CEC Study Secretary, Rev. Pekka Huokuna, Director General and Ms. Lena Kumlin (LL.M) from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, Very Rev. Protopresbyter Markku Salminen from Orthodox Church of Finland and Fr. Marco Pasinato, Diocesan Administrator of Helsinki.
The representatives of churches shared with Minister Haavisto their perspectives on four of the Finnish Presidency’s priorities, including:
- Common values and the rule of law: cornerstones of EU action
- A competitive and socially inclusive EU
- Climate action: serving integral human development
- Comprehensive security and migration
Churches welcomed the commitment of the Finnish Presidency to actively engage on the future of Europe, focusing particularly on effective measures to increase sustainable growth, foster security and mitigate climate change.
The meeting provided the opportunity to highlight that churches are not only universal networks of faith, but also institutions deeply rooted in local realities working for the common good of our societies.
For more information or an interview, please contact:
Conference of European Churches
Rue Joseph II, 174 B-1000 Brussels
Tel. +32 2 234 68 42
Fax +32 2 231 14 13