Where: Brussels, Belgium
Topic: Justice and citizens rights | Business
This year's annual high-level meeting of religious leaders will take place on 30 May at the Commission's headquarters in Brussels, under the motto 'Putting citizens at the heart of Europe in times of change'. Against the background of the European year for Citizenship 2013, participants will exchange views on, amongst others, the question how to bring Europe closer to its citizens and how to intensify the dialogue with citizens and societal organisations. The meeting will be hosted by José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and co-chaired by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and László Surján, Vice-President of the European Parliament.
Around twenty senior representatives from Christian, Muslim and Jewish religions and from the Hindu community from all over Europe will be present; amongst them:
The Right Reverend Michael Langrish, Bishop of Exeter;
His Excellency Monsignor Manuel Clemente, Bishop of Porto;
Her Excellency Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, Presiding Bishop of the United Methodist Church in Germany;
His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church;
His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel de France, President of the Conference of European Churches;
Imam Taher Tujgani, President of the European Council of Moroccan Ulamas;
Mrs Bharti Tailor, President of the Hindu Forum of Europe and Secretary General of the Hindu Forum of Britain;
His Excellency Chief Rabbi Albert Guigui, Chief Rabbi of Brussels and Permanent Representative at the Conference of European Rabbis.
The European Year for Citizenship 2013 has the objective to launch a broad debate amongst citizens, businesses, civil society and government organisations about the rights that every EU citizen has, and about the future of Europe. To achieve this goal, the European Commission collaborates closely with many stakeholders to run the European year at the national level in each Member State. This year's regular meeting of religious leaders is an opportunity to invite the representatives of churches and religious communities to contribute directly to the debate on the future of Europe.
The open, transparent and regular dialogue between the European Commission and churches, religious communities, as well as philosophical and non-confessional organisations, is enshrined into primary law by the Lisbon Treaty (Art 17 TFEU). Beyond regular seminars with the different interlocutors, there is one annual high-level meeting with religious leaders and one with philosophical and non-confessional representatives.
The High-level Religious Leaders meeting will take place in the Berlaymont building on Thursday 30 May 2012 from 10h00 to 14h00. A press release and the list of participating religious leaders will be published on the day. A press conference of the three Presidents together with the religious leaders will be held in the European Commission's press room at 12h00.