Bishops meet with Graham Watson, leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE)
A fruitful and full discussion took place today at a meeting between the Executive Committee of the Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) and Graham Watson MEP, along with other members of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) at the European Parliament, Brussels.
During the meeting, the Bishops and MEPs discussed the ratification of the European Constitution and the significance of revitalising the Lisbon Strategy for the economic and social good of Europe. They also stressed the importance of incorporating solidarity into the new financial perspectives for 2007-13.
Discussion turned to the role of Church and religious contributions to public life, whilst respecting the lines between Church and State. Both delegations agreed that dialogue, in particular, is essential to a healthy partnership so as to avoid descent into aggressive secularism.
This meeting took place during COMECE’s Executive Committee, held in Brussels from 19-20 January 2005. Issues on the Executive Committee agenda included the results of the recent December European Council meeting, with particular focus upon Enlargement and External Affairs. The Executive Committee also discussed the conclusions of the Dutch Presidency’s initiative entitled “Europe: A beautiful idea?” and the ways in which this debate can contribute to further European construction.
The Committee also made plans for the forthcoming COMECE plenary to be held from 10-11 March 2005 in Brussels.
Meetings of the COMECE Executive Committee are held regularly throughout the year.
Members of the ALDE Delegation included:
- Graham Watson MEP (UK)
- Jules Maaten MEP (NL)
- Bronislav Geremek MEP (PL)
- Vittorio Prodi MEP (IT)
The members of the Executive Committee are:
- Bishop Josef Homeyer, Bishop of Hildesheim, Germany (President of COMECE);
- Bishop Adrianus van Luyn SDB, Bishop of Rotterdam, Netherlands (Vice-President);
- Archbishop Hippolyte Simon, Archbishop of Clermont, France (Vice-President);
- Mgr Noël Treanor, Secretary General of COMECE;
- Mr Stefan Lunte, Assistant to the Secretary General of COMECE.
Mgr. Martin Krebs, Counsellor of the Apostolic Nuncio to the European Communities also attended.