COMECE Social Affairs Commission discuss key policy areas for a just ecological transition
Under the chairmanship of H.E. Mgr. Antoine Hérouard, the COMECE Social Affairs Commission gathered in Brussels on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 November 2019 to exchange views on key EU challenges towards integral ecology and a just transition. The meeting was held in dialogue with EU representatives, experts and Church inspired organisations.
During the event, experts delegated by EU Bishops’ Conferences, as well as by European Catholic organisations, deepened their reflection on possible EU contributions to an ecological approach that - in the words of Pope Francis - would reconcile “the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor”.
In particular, participants debated good practices and possible policy recommendations in view of the elaboration and implementation of the European Green Deal - proposed by Ursula von der Leyen, new President of the European Commission, and discussed by EU Bishops during the COMECE Autumn 2019 Assembly.
On the basis of recent empirical studies and from the perspective of Catholic Social Teaching, participants also analysed the link between climate change and social inequality in Europe, two sources of anxiety and uncertainty for many citizens.
The meeting also focused on three key EU policy areas that are important for a just ecological transition: 1) EU agricultural policy and rural development, 2) EU regional policy and the transition of Europe’s industrial and coal regions, as well as 3) the just funding of ecological transition.
Participants highlighted the important role the Church plays in fostering dialogue in our societies in the field of ecological conversion, as well as the vital responsibility of the EU in shaping the ecological transition in a way that would benefit everybody, including persons, families and communities living in rural and former industrial areas, who feel excluded from technological and societal advancements.