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The Future of Europe: a value-based and effective Union

Press Release No: 17/40
7 November 2017

Today senior Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and Mormon leaders gathered for the 13th annual high-level meeting with the European institutions. It was held at the invitation of European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and European Parliament First Vice President Mairead McGuinness, this time focusing on “The Future of Europe: a value-based and effective Union”.

CEC Vice-President H. E. Metropolitan Emmanuel of France said that “Europe will remain a dynamic continent as long as it looks to the future, that is to say attached to this “practical solidarity” to inspire a political vision of mutual freedom, equality, fraternity common to all its members.“

He continued that “this vision of a European shared house is that of the Conference of European Churches”.

Participants discussed a range of concerns relating to the future of the continent including how to shape a cohesive Europe with common values, ignorance in relation to radicalisation and how to best follow up on grand sounding declarations. Speakers from the United Kingdom expressed their fear of a non-Europe following the Brexit referendum last year.

On the topic of this gathering Timmermans noted that “the internal market, the common currency and so forth are tools to work towards common values”.  He noted that “common values are key to our present and our future” and encouraged the religious leaders in their work in sharing values, respecting differences and fostering mutual understanding.

During the meeting it was agreed that during 2019 an event with young people of faith from across Europe will be convened by the European institutions.

At a press conference following the event, representatives from the churches in Europe urged all to avoid the simplification of difficult challenges and to be open to dialogue with those who disagree following examples from Christian scripture and tradition. They concluded that Christian organisations are not interest groups but working for all of Europe.

Full List of Participants

High-level meetings and working level discussions are held regularly between the European Commission and churches and religious associations and communities as well as philosophical and non-confessional organisations. Since 2009 the dialogue with churches, religions, philosophical and non-confessional organisations is enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty [1].

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 [2]
Website: www.ceceurope.org [3]
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ceceurope [4]
Twitter: @ceceurope [5]