COMECE Bishops encourage politicians and citizens to create a framework for a just society in Europe
Today the COMECE Executive Committee issues a statement in view of Europe Day (9 May 2006) in which they welcome the reflection on the future of Europe and the positive elements of Plan D of the European Commission whilst calling for renewed efforts to revive the debate on the future of Europe.
In welcoming the initiatives to reflect upon the future of the European Union, the COMECE Executive Committee highlights that at present the European Commission’s proposals are not sufficient to actually revive the debate on the future of Europe particularly in light of the indifference demonstrated by many citizens and politicians towards the European Union. They call upon those responsible in the Member States and the European institutions to turn their attention to the problems of Europe with renewed energy and to establish a workable framework for the European Union in order to facilitate the building of a more just society.
In this statement the bishops observe that the European Union must place the human being and its inalienable dignity at the heart of its efforts to build a just society. They go on to identify the need for greater account to be taken of the Christian faith and the ethical convictions of many people in Europe, whilst maintaining a corresponding regard for other faiths and beliefs.
The bishops note that communication campaigns that run for limited periods are not sufficient to gain the trust and confidence of Europe’s citizens. Therefore it is vital that our leaders concentrate on shaping better and more democratic structures. Reform of the EU’s current treaties would play a major role in resolving some of the major challenges confronting the EU in particular in economic and foreign policy. The Bishops are convinced that the necessary reforms can be achieved through the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe. The debate on the future of Europe should therefore concentrate on the Constitutional Treaty so as to facilitate ratification of the treaty in all the Member States and establish a uniform political and legal framework for the European Union.
The Bishops emphasise that the Church is prepared to make its own special contribution to shaping a just society in Europe. It is, however, the citizens and, in particular, the politicians that bear the responsibility for building such a society. The Bishops therefore encourage all citizens and politicians to face up to this responsibility with renewed energy and to advance the building of a just society in Europe.
The members of the Executive Committee are:
- Bishop Adrianus van Luyn SDB, Bishop of Rotterdam, Netherlands (COMECE President)
- Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, Ireland (Vice-President)
- Auxiliary Bishop Piotr Jarecki, Auxiliary Bishop of Warsaw (Vice-President)
COMECE is a Commission of the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of the member states of the European Union. The Bishops’ Conferences of Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania have observer status.