Churches welcome the European Pillar of Social Rights

Photo: Ninni Andersson/Government Offices of Sweden

The following is a joint press release from the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU (COMECE).

CEC and COMECE welcome the inter-institutional proclamation on the European Pillar of Social Rights to be signed today at the Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth that is taking place in Gothenburg, Sweden.

CEC and COMECE consider the European Pillar of Social Rights as a vital and further step towards the European Social Market Economy. Therefore, we welcome the high-level consensus set by the joint proclamation of the Parliament, the Council and the Commission.

We encourage the European Union and its Member States to translate the document into concrete action, involving all partners – including Church and faith-based organisations – in order to create a deeper and fairer internal market, for a more social Europe and for the benefit of all people in the EU.

CEC and COMECE believe that the persistent economic and social inequality, as well as the transformative changes taking place in the world of work, can be faced only through a European joint effort that is not only formal, but concrete and tangible, driven by the principles of justice and solidarity.

As highlighted by Pope Francis during the COMECE-organised dialogue (Re)Thinking Europe, «a European Union that, in facing crises, fails to recover a sense of being a single community that sustains and assists its members […], would miss out not only on one of the greatest challenge of its history, but also on one of the greatest opportunities for its own future».

The Conference of European Churches likewise has reminded all its Member Churches of the vision of a “common European house with commonly shared values as its foundation”, of which justice and solidarity are a fundamental part.

CEC and COMECE have contributed to the European Pillar of Social Rights from the very beginning, issuing statements in favour of a European Social Market Economy as envisioned by the EU treaties, and participating with their church partners in the public consultation launched in March 2016 by the Commission.

On this important day, we recall our support for the European Pillar of Social Rights. We invite the EU institutions and the Member States to provide the needed financial support to make the initiative a proper policy instrument.

Together, CEC and COMECE, invite all actors involved to commit in a dialogue with Churches and church – and faith-based organisations, whose experience of everyday social work will contribute to the success of the initiative and to restore citizens’ trust and belief in the European project.

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Related contributions of COMECE and CEC

COMECE contribution to the EU consultation: 
http://www.comece.eu/dl/LnlqJKJKolKkJqx4KJK/2016-11-17_Contribution_to_the_Pillar_of_Social_Rights_FINAL.pdf

CEC contribution to the EU consultation: 
http://www.ceceurope.org/cec-responds-to-public-consultation-on-european-pillar-of-social-rights/

Statement of the COMECE bishops on poverty and social exclusion in Europe:
http://www.comece.eu/comece-bishops-call-for-an-integrated-approach-to-combat-poverty

CEC publication on European Economic Governance: 
http://www.globethics.net/documents/4289936/17575651/GE_CEC_4_isbn9782889311811.pdf
For more information or an interview, please contact:

Henrik Hansson
CEC Communication Coordinator
Tel: +32 2 234 68 42
e-mail: hhansson@cec-kek.be
Website: www.ceceurope.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ceceurope
Twitter: @ceceuropex`

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