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25 September 2023

📑 DOCUMENT | COMECE’S Youth Net annual contribution is now online

COMECE releases the 2022-2023 annual contribution of its Youth Net on Thursday, 21 September 2023. The document contains recommendations to the EU and stresses the importance of placing human dignity, solidarity, freedom and democracy at the forefront of the European Union’s agenda. Read the document

The COMECE Youth Net – the network comprising young individuals delegated by EU Episcopates and acting as a consultative body within the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union – has recently elaborated its annual contribution.

The document entitled “Preserving a value-based European Union for today and tomorrow” highlights the need to re-discover the European Union as a community with a soul, open to the transcendent and to the unique contribution of the Church.

We have the opportunity and responsibility to raise critical questions and issues of concern about the direction of the EU, while at the same time asking ourselves how we can better live out Christ’s command to love our neighbour as ourselves within the community of European peoples” – the document reads.

The youth delegates further acknowledge the differences among EU Member States in interpreting the European project and its core values. They observe that EU citizens appear to have lost a sense of belonging to a community of people.

“The EU is a safe base to start exploring the world and the universality of our faith [since] European values draw from Christian ones and must be translated in common actions”, the document of the COMECE Youth Net continues.

The latter part of the document features recommendations aimed at enhancing young people’s engagement with EU institutions. It suggests the creation of structural pathways for youth participation, the facilitation of citizen learning about shared cultural roots, and the promotion of a sense of belonging and mutual responsibility. These initiatives must also respect specific cultural attitudes and traditions.

The Youth Net explains that, in order to achieve these objectives, it is necessary to increase investments in education, promote democratic and religious literacy, strengthen dialogue between the EU and Churches and faith-based organizations, and establish equal opportunities in the divide between rural and urban areas.

An important recommendation is the inclusion of young citizens from disadvantaged neighbourhoods and socio-economic backgrounds in local-level youth parliaments. In this context, parishes and various youth faith-based associations “can provide a first contact point for peers, reaching out to young people from diverse backgrounds and fostering community-belonging”.

The contribution is the result of the collaborative efforts of members of the COMECE Youth Net and its Presidency. The document compiles ideas young people gathered from their peers through conversations in their networks, diocesan groups, and parishes on the yearly topic.

Download the Report

The Catholic Church in the European Union

Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences
of the European Union