Category Archives: EU External Affairs

The EU started to develop a Common Foreign and Security Policy with the Maastricht Treaty (1992). Moreover, in recent years, the EU intensified efforts to promote Human Rights outside its borders and it has played a major role in International Trade and Development Aid.
EU Enlargement continues to be an important pillar of EU’s External Policy. Since 2004 a specific Neighborhood Policy was elaborated to establish good relations with neighboring countries.
In the hope that a united Europe can take a stronger role on the world stage, COMECE together with Justice and Peace Europe aims to assist the EU in its vocation to promote global peace and assume its responsibility for supporting sustainable development and social justice across the world. COMECE is assisted in this mission by a Commission on the External Relations of the European Union.


African Bishops´ Conference visits COMECE

Africa and Europe are bound together by history, geography and a common destiny. They also share a community of values on which the Bishops from Africa and Europe wish to build. To mark this close relationship, COMECE received a delegation from the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) led by its President, H.E. Gabriel Mbilingi, Archbishop of Lubango (Angola). The Vice-President of … Continue reading »


Whose Security? Whose Defence?

COMECE participated in a conference on “The European Defence of Europe?” organised by Egmont – Royal Institute for International Relations. The objective of the conference was to discuss with EU policy-makers, NATO representatives and academics the strategic questions of European defence cooperation and the development of appropriate capabilities. COMECE supports the view that reinforced security and defence measures can only be considered a partial response … Continue reading »


Colombia: from child soldiers to peace-builders

The armed conflict in Colombia has persisted for more than 50 years. The result is: 260.000 people killed and 8 Mio. victims, most of them civilians. Moreover, many children have been forcibly recruited as soldiers and suffered serious physical and psychological harm. The Salesians of Don Bosco are helping them to re-integrate into society. They shared this example of good practice of placing the human … Continue reading »


Justice and Peace Europe: “Nonviolence is the key to peace”

COMECE hosted a Prayer & Breakfast organised by Justice & Peace Europe on the theme of Pope Francis’ Message for the World Day of Peace “Nonviolence: a style of politics for peace”. The event was presided by Mgr. Jean-Claude Hollerich, the President of Justice&Peace Europe and gathered around 40 participants from the EU institutions, churches and civil society. In his reflection, Mgr. Hollerich recalled that … Continue reading »


COMECE discusses Peace, Trade and Development

Under the chairmanship of the COMECE member Bishop for Luxembourg Mgr. Jean-Claude Hollerich, the joint COMECE – Justice & Peace Europe commission on the external relations of the EU exchanged with representatives of the EU on the current issues in EU External Action. The meeting agenda included a discussion on security & defence, trade defence instruments, the situation in Ukraine and in the Middle East … Continue reading »


Churches: “which response to terrorism in Europe?”

“One of the causes of the jihadi Salafism development is the lack of alternative proposals by our society” said Br Olivier Poquillon, Secretary general of COMECE, in his intervention to 5th European Catholic-Orthodox Forum. The European Catholic-Orthodox Forum is an initiative promoted by the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE) along with the Ecumenical Patriarchate with the accordance of the Orthodox Churches present in Europe. … Continue reading »


What are the priorities for funding peace-building in 2017?

COMECE participated in a consultation of the civil society with the EU Commission organised by The European Peacebuilding Liaison Office, a platform of NGOs on the 2017 programming of the EU financial Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace. The discussion mainly focused on preventing violent extremism, strengthening the role of civil society in the security sector and the importance of peace education. With regard to … Continue reading »


Sudan: Visit of Bishop Gassis to the EU

COMECE received H.E. Macram Max Gassis, Bishop emeritus of the Diocese El Obeid in Sudan. The Bishop came to Brussels to draw attention to the suffering of the Nuba people. He called on the EU to contribute to a peaceful and just settlement of the ongoing conflict. In concrete terms, Mgr Gassis demanded the cessation of aerial bombings, the opening of relief corridors and that … Continue reading »


Reconciliation in Iraq?

COMECE participated in a Round Table at the EU Parliament on “Expectations and challenges to Iraqi National Reconciliation” organised by the Community of Sant’Egidio. Mgr Louis Sako, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldean, asked the EU to support creation of reconciliation mechanisms and to prepare the post DAESH reconstruction through a roadmap involving all relevant actors.

Press Release

COMECE: British and Irish Bishops on Brexit

During their Plenary Assembly, the COMECE Bishops had an exchange on the outcome and consequences of the referendum in the United Kingdom. Bishop William Kenney, delegate of the England and Wales Bishops’ Conference, explained that since the outcome of the Brexit referendum ‘there is very little clarity as to what is going to happen or what consequences will ensue.’ He said he believes the Church … Continue reading »