An ecumenical delegation composed of representatives from the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) and the Conference of European Churches (CEC) met in Helsinki on Friday 12 July 2019 with Mr. Pekka Haavisto, Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs, to exchange on the priorities of the Finnish Presidency of the EU Council.
This meeting is part of a long-standing tradition supported by Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU), which foresees an open, transparent and regular dialogue between the EU institutions and Churches.
The delegation included Fr. Olivier Poquillon, o.p., General Secretary of COMECE, Fr. Marco Pasinato, Diocesan Administrator of Helsinki, Rev. Dr Peter Pavlovic, CEC Study Secretary, as well as Rev. Pekka Huokuna, Director General and Ms. Lena Kumlin (LL.M) from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finlandand Very Rev. Protopresbyter Markku Salminen from the Orthodox Church of Finland.
The representatives of Churches shared with Minister Haavistotheir perspectives on four of the Finnish Presidency’s priorities, including:
- Common values and the rule of law: cornerstones of EU action
- A competitive and socially inclusive EU
- Climate action: serving integral human development
- Comprehensive security and migration
Churches welcomed the commitment of the Finnish Presidency to actively engage on the future of Europe, focusing particularly on effective measures to increase sustainable growth, foster security and mitigate climate change.
The meeting provided the opportunity to highlight that Churches are not only universal networks of faith, but also institutions deeply rooted in local realities working for the common good of our societies.