Bishops call upon politicians to re-elevate the citizen to the core of the European Union
During the Executive Committee of COMECE which gathered in Rome from 9-10 June, the Bishops reflected upon the current situation in the European Union and subsequently issued a statement which will be sent to Prime Minister Juncker in the run up to the European Council gathering from 16-17 June in Brussels.
Following on from an initial statement issued by Mgr Treanor, COMECE Secretary General, on 2 June 2005 after the referenda results in France and the Netherlands, the Executive Committee highlight that these results do “not signify the end of the European construction”, and focus turning this present crisis into an opportunity to re-engage the European citizen with the aims of the European project.
This statement outlines the importance of the European Union as the foundation of peace and stability which has been enjoyed in Europe for over fifty years. The EU’s significance is not waning as time goes on: membership has given hope and direction to the states of Central and Eastern Europe post -1989, whilst its mission continues to be an inspiration to the rest of the world.
The Executive Committee calls upon the European to take account of the preoccupations of the citizen and to foster solutions as “members of a closely linked community”; a community which is essential for responding to the pressures of globalisation and problems which cannot be solved singularly by the nation state. Yet with these responses comes the demand for transparency and accountability, from both the EU and the Member States.
The statement identifies the need for all citizens of the EU to recognise their responsibility and role within the project, particularly calling upon Catholics to work towards the common European good.
Whilst gathering in Rome for one of their regular meetings, the COMECE Executive Committee met with His Excellency Giovanni Lajolo from the Vatican Secretariat of State. The Executive Committee further discussed the work of the Secretariat, the recent publication of the document ‘The Evolution of the European Union and the Responsibility of Catholics’, and the forthcoming plenary scheduled for 16-18 November 2005.
The members of the Executive Committee are:
- Bishop Em. 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.
- Dr Matthias Meyer, Advisor to Bishop Homeyer, German Bishops’ Conference