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Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Religious leaders meet EU president
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 Yesterday the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso met leaders and representatives of the Christian Churches, Judaism and Islam in Brussels, after which they issued the following statement. In light of the recent terror attacks in London, all of the participants highlighted the barbarity of these attacks and denounced the use of religion as a justification for such actions. They discussed the role that the Churches and religious communities play in the European Union and highlighted the importance of the dialogue and interaction which takes place between the two. They further discussed the contribution that the Churches and religious communities make to the promotion of the European project in realising its aims and objectives as a Union of peace and prosperity. President Barroso recalled the importance of the role that the Churches and religious communities play in society and in the life of the citizen. He particularly highlighted the contribution that the Churches and religious communities make to the public debate on EU policies. Given the present political climate, President Barroso talked of his desire that the Churches and religious communities also participate in this period of discussion and debate on the future direction of the European project. During the course of this meeting the participants discussed a wide-range of issues inter alia further EU enlargement including the Balkans and Turkey, focusing particularly on the issue of religious freedom, the priorities of the current UK presidency including reference to the successful resolution of the debate on the budget and the European social model, and the importance of inter-religious dialogue in the Barcelona Process and integration issues. A ialogue also took place on ethical issues in European research policy. President Barroso invited the participants to take part in another similar meeting in six months time having highlighted that Europe is much more than an economic market; it is also a Union of values. To read the statement see: http://www.comece.org
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