Slovenian EU Presidency: European Church delegation meets with Prime Minister Janez Janša
An ecumenical delegation, representing the Commission Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union of the (COMECE) and the Conference of European Churches (CEC), met with the Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša on Friday 5 November 2021 in Ljubljana, to discuss the implementation of the Slovenian EU Presidency’s priorities.
In a joint contribution to the Slovenian EU Council Presidency Programme, COMECE and CEC stressed the importance of pursuing a people-centred recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, while fostering Europe’s resilience in view of possible future crises.
In the joint paper, they strongly advocated for global vaccine equity, emphasising the need for a socially just economic and sustainable recovery. In the meeting with the Prime Minister Janez Janša, the COMECE-CEC delegation called on EU decision-makers to protect and promote the fundamental right of religious freedom in European societies and worldwide, thereby strengthening European values and principles.
Churches welcomed the Presidency’s efforts to strengthen the role of the EU in the world, as a leading humanitarian, development, economic and peace actor. In this context, the delegation encouraged the Slovenian Presidency to promote a truly humane EU migration policy based on the principles of solidarity, responsibility and respect for human rights rooted in the human dignity of every person.
COMECE and CEC also reaffirmed their commitment to contribute to the ongoing Conference on the Future of Europe, underlining the importance of maintaining constructive dialogue and interaction with EU institutions, in line with Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU).
Rev. Christian Krieger, President of CEC, stated that “the ongoing Conference on the Future of Europe is significant also for our member Churches throughout Europe. CEC, together with COMECE, hope to contribute to this process with special focus on strengthening our common European values, thus promoting the common good and the well-being of present and future generations.”
Encouraging the EU Presidency to promote the voice of the youth, the President of COMECE, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, stated that “young people are the true future of Europe. From their experiences, knowledge, hopes and dreams, they can build a better future, not only for Europe and Europeans, but for all brothers and sisters in this world.”
The delegation was composed of:
- Em. Jean-Claude Cardinal Hollerich SJ, President of COMECE
- Christian Krieger, President of CEC
- E. Stanislav Zore, Archbishop of Ljubljana and President of the Slovenian Bishops’ Conference
- E. Franc Šuštar, Auxiliary Bishop of Ljubljana and Bishop Delegate to COMECE
- Bishop Leon Novak, Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the Republic of Slovenia
- Manuel Barrios Prieto, General Secretary of COMECE
- Ms Lena Kumlin, Senior EU policy Adviser at CEC
- Tadej Strehovec, General Secretary of the Slovenian Bishops' Conference (SBC)
- Mr Marek Misak, Policy Adviser for EU External Relations at COMECE
- Mr Emilio Dogliani, Policy Adviser for Culture and Education at COMECE
- Mr Janko J. Pirc, Coordinator at SBC
Photo Gallery of the event (© Vlada RS)