Catholic bishops for a just and social Europe
Bishops for socioethical issues met on invitation by COMECE
On invitation by the Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) bishops and representatives of twelve episcopates in the EU met on May 30th for a study day and an exchange on priorities of the socioethical debate in the EU Bishops’ Conferences.
During the day, organised by COMECE for the first time in this format and held under the main theme « Lisbon Strategy and social Europe », the bishops met with the EU commissioner for social and employment policy, Dr. Vladimir Spidla, as well as with the MEPs Prof José Manuel Garcia-Margallo y Marfil and Josef Szajer.
Confronted with the challenges of a changing demography in Europe and globalisation the final discussion was marked by the question of how the European Union could possibly contribute to achieve efficient and financially sustainable social protection for those in need as an element of the European social model. Whilst respecting the principle of subsidiarity one should work also at the European level to strengthen marriage and family. Specific attention should be paid to the question of what incentives could be given to businesses to accept social responsibility globally. Unemployment and the integration of migrants remain the biggest problem in most of the EU-member-states.
At the beginning of the meeting the bishops present and national experts were welcomed by the President of COMECE, Bishop Adrianus van Luyn from Rotterdam. They recommended to hold another study day in due course.