COMECE Legal Affairs Commission: children and their rights as a EU priority
The COMECE Legal Affairs Commission met on Thursday 3 December 2020 to exchange on current EU and national initiatives in the area of fundamental rights. The event took place by video conference due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis under the chairmanship of H. E. Mgr. Theodorus C. M. Hoogenboom, Auxiliary Bishop of Utrecht.
The meeting prioritesed the situation of children in the Europea Union. In dialogue with a representative of the European Commission, the experts delegated by the EU Episcopates analysed the EU strategy for a more effective fight against child abuse, emphasising the importance of a multi-stakeholder approach.
The future strategy on the rights of the child (2021-2024) was also discussed with the European Commission. The exchange was timely, as COMECE subsequently contributed to the consultation on this topic.
The impact of the pandemic on the rights of the child and of their parents, as well as the possible expansion of the setting for the future Expert group on violence against children, were among the key points that emerged in this regard.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which entered into force in May 2018 and is a permanent priority in the fundamental rights domain, was also addressed. Concerning the Church in the Member States, the experts also shared information and legal questions on recent developments regarding the GDPR, as well as on national systems of Church funding.
In view of the upcoming Christmas period, the COMECE Commission also assessed the impact of the recently issued EU Stay Safe Strategy on religious ceremonies.
The COMECE Legal Affairs Commission will meet for its next meeting on Thursday, 25 February 2021, with a focus on EU non-discrimination policies and initiatives to counter money laundering.