The low turnout indicates that a European Civil Society is still missing
On the occasion of the European Elections which took place from June 4th to 7th, 2009 the President of COMECE, Bishop Adrianus van Lyun, congratulated all the elected Members of Parliament from the 27 Member States. He wished them every success and God?s blessing in fulfilling their mandates. The Bishop hoped that the Dialogue between the Churches and the EU Institutions, especially with the European Parliament, will be deepened for the sake of human dignity and the common welfare.
At the same time, the President of the COMECE regrets the low turnout at the European Elections (approximately 42.9%): ?Such a low turnout is all the more inexplicable as the European Parliament will stand to gain additional influence and competences when the Lisbon Treaty comes into force.? By intensifying the process of democratisation the European Parliament can become a more and more a powerful representative of its citizens. ?The low turnout indicates that a European Civil Society is still missing. Compared to the Single Market there has been too little focus on civil society. The European Institutions, the national governments, the political parties and perhaps even the Churches should therefore ask themselves: Was our contribution big enough to raise the European conscience of our fellow citizens?? For 60 years European integration has been a unique process in the history of mankind and which today is more than ever important. Given the worldwide economic crisis, climate change and the food crisis there is in fact no alternative to a united Europe speaking with one voice and standing up for justice and peace on its own continent and in the world.
During their Spring Plenary the COMECE Bishops released a declaration titled ?Building a better European home? (March 20th, 2009). In this document they called on Christians to participate in the European Elections. Several Bishops` Conferences of the Member States issued similar declarations.