Press Release

EuropeDay 2022 | EU Bishops: “peace and stronger citizens’ participation”

On Monday 9 May 2022, on Europe Day, COMECE President Cardinal Hollerich praises the Conference on the Future of Europe and expresses hopes for further initiatives promoting citizens’ participation in shaping the EU. The Cardinal restates the Catholic Church’s commitment to continue being a faithful and honest companion of the EU project. On future EU membership: “Ukraine and all other European countries that have applied, need a credible accession perspective”. Statement

COMECE President Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich. (Credit: CNS photo/Paul Haring)

On the occasion of the closing event of the Conference on the Future of Europe, H. Em. Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ, President of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conference of the European Union (COMECE), restates the commitment of the Catholic Church in Europe to continue being “a faithful and honest companion of the European unification process”.

In his statement, Cardinal Hollerich recalls the timeless values promoted by the Schuman Declaration released on this day 72 years ago, highlighting the need to preserve peace and security, achieving sustainable growth and prosperity through exercising parts of national sovereignty together.

The President of COMECE praises the Conference on the Future of Europe as “an audacious experiment in citizens’ participation across cultural, linguistic and political borders”. He also expresses hopes for new participatory EU initiatives building upon the Conference, making the EU citizens active protagonists of the European project.

Referring to the tragedy of war returning to European soil with the Russian aggression against Ukraine, Cardinal Hollerich hopes that “peace in Europe and the world will become less fragile” and the use of weapons less frequent.

In this context, the President of the EU Bishops urges the institutions of the European Union and the Member States to offer “a positive and realistic response” to Ukraine’s request for future EU membership, while giving “a credible accession perspective” to all other European countries that have submitted their application.

Throughout the Conference on the Future of Europe, whose idea was launched at the end of 2019, COMECE actively contributed offering a Catholic perspective on today’s key challenges and citizens’ concerns, such as demographic, digital and ecological transitions, youth empowerment and the role of the EU in the world.

Among the major events organised by COMECE to address these topics, features the European Catholic Social Days, the Autumn 2021 COMECE Assembly and the Catholic Youth Convention on the Future of Europe.