Voices for freedom
What role can churches play in shaping both European society and politics? By means of Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, the EU recognises the identity and specific contribution of Churches and engages on this basis an ‘open, transparent and regular’ dialogue with them. Thanks to this article, Churches and religious communities will be able to strengthen their dialogue with the European Commission, Council and Parliament and so contribute more efficiently to reflecting on European policy. How does this work out in practice? What difference has this made so far?
Why should ‘Europe’ matter to the local church? Why is it important to be aware of the bigger picture, to choose the common good not only of our own neighbourhood or nation, but for Europe (and beyond).
How can local congregations contribute to a civil society reflecting Christian values, in a largely secularised society? At the local level, how can greater engagement with European issues and an awareness of shared responsibility for tomorrow’s Europe be encouraged?
Chair: David Fieldsend
Presentation 1: Msgr Ad Van Luyn: The Churches’ Role in Brussels
Presentation 2: Rev Arjan Plaisier: Why should ‘Europe’ matter? (unavailable)
Questions and discussion
Conclusions and prayer
David Fieldsend is the assistant to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s representative in Brussels. He is chairman of the CPFE and was manager of CARE for Europe. He is a licensed Reader in the Church of England and member of the diocesan synod for Europe.
Monsignor Ad Van Luyn, (NL) was Bishop of Rotterdam (1994-2011), and chairman of COMECE (2006-11), the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community, made up of Bishops of the 28 Member States of the European Union. He was also chairman of Pax Christ in the Netherlands.
THE EU RECOGNISES THE IDENTITY AND SPECIFIC CONTRIBUTION OF THE CHURCHES BY MEANS OF ARTICLE 17 OF THE TREATY ON THE FUNCTIONING OF THE EU (LISBON), AND ENGAGES ON THIS BASIS AN ‘OPEN, TRANSPARENT AND REGULAR DIALOGUE’ WITH THEM.
THANKS TO THIS ARTICLE, CHURCHES AND RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES WILL BE ABLE TO STRENGTHEN THEIR DIALOGUE WITH THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION, COUNCIL AND PARLIAMENT AND SO CONTRIBUTE MORE EFFICIENTLY TO REFLECTING ON EUROPEAN POLICY. HOW DOES THIS WORK OUT IN PRACTICE? WHAT DIFFERENCE HAS THIS MADE SO FAR? Read more…
Presentation 2 – (unavailable)