During their spring plenary the COMECE Bishops adopted initiatives designed to promote intercultural dialogue including its inter-religious dimension. These initiatives were presented to the Austrian EU Presidency during the COMECE plenary, which was held from 22-24 March 2006 in Brussels.
Strengthening intercultural and inter-religious dialogue will be the main focus of the forthcoming COMECE Bishops’ plenary meeting in response to the unfortunate and unsettling fallout between the EU and the Muslim world following the publication of cartoons caricaturing the prophet Mohammed.
In the context of the Lisbon Strategy the member states have agreed to significantly increase expenditure for research and development by the year 2010. The EU’s institutions are currently in the process of adopting the 7th Research Framework Programme and its complementary specific research programmes.
In order for the EU to seriously communicate locally with European citizens, then it should not overlook the Churches’ capacity to act as an interlocutor. This was the principle message from the Bishops of COMECE at their Autumn Plenary Meeting held from 16-18 November 2005 in Brussels.