Following the signing of the joint declaration in March, thereby officially setting up the Conference on the Future of Europe, the Conference of European Churches (CEC) General Secretary Dr Jørgen Skov Sørensen expressed appreciation at the move, anticipating strong contribution from the European churches.
The Conference on the Future of Europe is an EU initiative, aiming to engage people from across Europe to share their ideas and shape their common future, through a wide range of debates and discussions. Delayed since last year, the Conference will now be launched on 9 May, Europe Day, planning to reach conclusions in guiding the future of Europe by spring 2022.
“We are happy that finally a joint declaration has been drawn up on the shape and form of the Conference of the Future of Europe. We appreciate this bold move towards dialogue with European grassroots. Many of our Member Churches are ready to contribute and deliver to the process, representing millions of active European citizens,” said Dr Jørgen Skov Sørensen.
“CEC is excited about this important process, involving all Europeans in the debate about what kind of Europe and European Union we want,” said Ms Lena Kumlin, CEC’s Senior EU Policy Advisor, seconded by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland.
“CEC will not only monitor and actively participate in the process but will also encourage its Member Churches to engage in the process on all levels. As credible dialogue partners, churches can add significant value to the Conference. We look forward to bringing a Christian perspective to the discussions and developing the European project,” she said.
“Today marks a new start for the European Union and for all European citizens,” said European Parliament President David Sassoli while signing the joint declaration on the Conference. “The Conference on the Future of Europe will be a unique opportunity for all European citizens and our civil society to shape Europe´s future, a common project for a functioning European democracy. We call on all of you to come forward to participate with your voice to building what will be tomorrow´s Europe, what will be YOUR Europe.”
CEC will collaborate closely with the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) throughout the process of the Conference on the Future of Europe.
CEC shares “briefing papers” with its Member Churches – inspiring reflections on getting involved in the Conference, while facilitating their active participation in events, discussions, and debates.