COMECE in dialogue with the Court of Justice of the EU

Following up to the successful first visit in 2020, the COMECE Legal Affairs Commission, on Thursday, 29 February 2024, carried out a study visit to the Court of Justice of the EU, meeting extensively with Judges and Advocate Generals.

COMECE’s visit to the Court of Justice of the EU on 29 February 2024. (Photo: COMECE)

The programme involved both formal and informal moments of exchange and dialogue and allowed some frank reflections on the state of the EU jurisprudence.

The focus was mainly placed on the increasing role of religion, in particular in the area of non-discrimination, as well as of Article 17.1 TFEU in EU jurisprudence, but also strived to the more technical role of the General Court – e.g. State aid, access to documents.

The COMECE Legal Affairs Commission regularly monitors EU jurisprudence. This study visit provided a way to go the source of EU jurisprudence, addressing specific aspects and concerns.

During the exchange with judges, members of the COMECE Commission referred to the concept of ‘neutrality’ in a secularised context, with particular regard to religious symbols in society. Furthermore, they underlined the need to prevent religion being relegated to the private sphere, while respecting the identity of each Member State and fostering tolerance.

The visit can also be seen as an expression of support from the Catholic Church for the EU project, while not renouncing to a critical voice when needed.

A session of the COMECE Legal Affairs Commission followed the visit to the Court of Justice of the EU. This session was dedicated to the new EU proposal to update the criminal law rules on child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation, as well as GDPR national cases and ritual slaughter of animals vis-à-vis freedom of religion.

The COMECE Legal Affairs Commission will gather for its next meeting on 18-19 September 2024. The Commission is chaired by H.E. Mgr. Theodorus C.M. Hoogenboom.

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