Tuesday 29 November: Commission hosts annual high-level meeting with religious leaders

The news:

On Tuesday 29 November, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans will host the annual high-level meeting with European Parliament Vice-President Antonio Tajani and religious leaders to discuss “Migration, Integration and European Values: Putting Values into Action”.

It will be the twelfth in the series of meetings launched by the Commission in 2005. High-level meetings and working level discussions are held regularly between the European Commission and churches and religious associations and communities as well as philosophical and non-confessional organisations. These dialogues allow for an open exchange of views on EU policies between EU institutions and important parts of European society.

The dialogue with churches, religions, philosophical and non-confessional organisations is enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty (Art 17 of TFEU) since 2009.

The background:

The Treaty of Lisbon explicitly introduces the idea of a dialogue between European institutions and churches, religious associations or communities as well as philosophical and non-confessional organisations (Article 17):

  • The Union respects and does not prejudice the status under national law of churches and religious associations or communities in the Member States.
  • The Union equally respects the status under national law of philosophical and non-confessional organisations.
  • Recognising their identity and their specific contribution, the Union shall maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with these churches and organisations.

Under the Juncker Commission, First Vice-President Timmermans is responsible for the dialogues. The annual meeting with representatives from philosophical and non-confessional organisations from across Europe took place on 30 June (read the press release).

The event:

The high level meeting of First Vice-President Frans Timmermans with European Parliament Vice-President Antonio Tajani and religious leaders will take place on 29 November at 10.00 and will be followed by a press conference in the Commission press room at 12.00. The press conference will be live streamed on EBS. For interview opportunities with religious leaders please contact: Katarzyna.KOLANKO@ec.europa.eu.

The sources:

Commission website on the Article 17 Dialogue: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/fundamental-rights/dialogue/index_en.htm



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