European Churches bring into focus the Conference on the Future of Europe
The event “Our hope for Europe” held in Brussels on 7 December brought into focus Churches’ contribution to the ongoing Conference on the Future of Europe. It was organised by the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), the Conference of European Churches (CEC), and Chapel for Europe, with participation from representatives of the three main EU institutions. Watch the full video of the event
During the event, European Churches and EU institution representatives discussed the state of play of the Conference on the Future of Europe, as well as policies sustaining freedom and democracy, tackling climate justice and the plight of refugees. They reflected on hope and visions for the future of Europe, with special focus on young Europeans and Churches’ contribution to the process.
Churches restated their support for the Conference on the Future of Europe, considering it a significant step to renew trust and commitment to the European Union as a true community of values.
CEC and COMECE affirmed their hope “to bring the EU closer to its citizens and give a new impulse to fresh and innovative visions for a more sustainable, equitable, inclusive and prosperous Union”.
“The Conference on the Future provides us all safe, inclusive, transparent, open and transnational public space for in-depth deliberations in full respect of each other's views and values,”stated Dubravka Šuica, European Commission Vice-President for Democracy and Demography. “My wish is a vibrant democracy where citizens of all ages and faiths can actively engage and contribute to their village, town, region, country and to our Union,”she continued.
Gašper Dovžan, State Secretary at the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, thanked churches for their active participation in the Conference on the Future of Europe with special focus on strengthening common European values and promoting the common good. “It demonstrates that we all here share the same goal, shaping a better future for Europe and promoting our core values.”
“As member of the European Parliament, I really count on your very active contribution,” said MEP Sandro Gozi, referring to the role of religious actors. “We need you to be on the ground to talk to the members of your respective communities, to participate in the platform, to launch ideas and dialogue.”
A more global perspective was presented by MEP Helmut Scholz, who stressed Europeans’ impact on the life of people beyond Europe. “It should be also the task of us to create together structures, which are enabling everybody to participate in shaping our future,” he said.
European Christian citizens, representing various age groups and geographical corners of Europe, also reflected on the contribution of Churches to the Conference on the Future of Europe.
The event was held in a hybrid format and its content will eventually add to the joint COMECE-CEC work relating to the Conference. The event was also registered in the multilingual digital platform of the Conference on the Future of Europe and its results will be fed into its proceedings.
Photo: Rolando Niquet