“We will continue to accompany the European Integration Process in a constructive way”
The COMECE Bishops have discussed the work programme of the new European Commission with President Juncker and Vice-President Timmermans.
During their Spring Plenary Assembly from 18 to 20 March 2015 in Brussels, the bishops of COMECE had the opportunity to meet with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and his First Vice-President, Frans Timmermans, and to discuss the work programme of the Commission for the coming years. At this meeting on the eve of a European Summit in Brussels mainly devoted to the crisis in Greece, the bishops raised the issues of the current situation in Europe, the future of the Eurozone and the European unification.
For the President of COMECE, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, this meeting between EU Catholic Bishops and President Juncker and Vice-President Timmermans was “a clear signal of a strong interest of the EU Commission to pursue the dialogue with Churches” as provided for in article 17 paragraph 3 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. The question of the future structure of this dialogue was also raised during this encounter. Cardinal Marx assured the President and the Vice-President of the Commission that the Catholic Church will continue to accompany the European Integration Process in a constructive way: “Not least thanks to the internal market, integration can be reckoned a unique success. Europe needs, today more than ever, cohesion through common values. Europe is far more than the Euro” he stated.
In order to identify the themes of the political programme of the EU Commission which have a specific relevance for the Church on a socio-ethical point of view, the Bishops also met with two high level civil servants of the Commission. The former President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, also a guest of the plenary, in a wide-ranging address, outlined his political views on the actual challenges of the European Politics.
Following the attacks in Paris on 9 January, the bishops of COMECE devoted an evening to a discussion with the President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, and discussed the potential for dialogue between Christians and Muslims and its implications for a peaceful living together in Europe.
During the Plenary Assembly, the Bishops of COMECE elected a new Presidium. The bishops renewed the three-year mandate of the President, Cardinal Reinhard Marx (Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany), Vice-President Jean Kockerols (Auxiliary Bishop of Malines-Brussels, Belgium) and Vice-President Gianni Ambrosio (Bishop of Piacenza-Bobbio, Italy).
The next Plenary Assembly of COMECE will be held in Paris from 28 to 30 October 2015 ahead of the UN Summit on Climate Change in December 2015.
With the new elected President and Standing committee
Today 13:00 at COMECE
Contact: Johanna Touzel, COMECE Spokesperson and Press Officer
firstname.lastname@example.org Tel+32 (0)2 235 05 15