Rev. Christian Krieger, president of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) made recommendations at the Third Plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE), highlighting the need to bring the EU closer to the European citizens by inventing new means of democratic debate. He also critiqued European policies on migration that compromise universal human rights.
The Plenary of the CoFoE, titled “The future is in your hands” was held in hybrid format from 21 to 22 January 2022 in Strasbourg. CoFoE is an EU initiative, engaging people from across the continent through a wide range of debates on a digital platform. CoFoE, launched on Europe Day on 9 May 2021, aims to reach conclusions in guiding the future of Europe by spring 2022.
“The European project urgently needs a permanent space for democratic debate, a place where European citizens, the components of civil society, including religious communities, and the European youth can express themselves, challenge each other and engage in dialogue,” said Rev. Christian Krieger.
“For the future of the European project, it is essential to bring the EU closer to its citizens. The digital age enables us to invent new ways of experiencing democratic debate and building support for the Europe of values to which we all aspire,” he added.
Rev. Krieger critiqued the current European policies on migration. “The treatment of women, children and men knocking on Europe's door is unworthy of Europe’s commitment to human rights.”
“The humanitarian situation in the camps on Europe's borders, as well as acts perpetrated by third states in our name, shame us. The inability of EU member states to implement real solidarity ruins the discourse of values and questions the foundations of the future of the European project.”
“I am honored to present concerns from churches about the future of Europe in a united voice. We look forward to make our contribution in promoting the common good,” he said.
Rev. Krieger was representing diverse CEC Member Churches, coming from Protestant, Anglican, Old-Catholic and Orthodox traditions, as well as CEC’s Catholic ecumenical partner the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE). The two organisations represent about 380 million European citizens at all levels of European societies.
Bringing together stakeholders from across Europe, the Conference Plenary received recommendations, from which it will put forward proposals to the Executive Board. The latter will draw up a report in full collaboration and transparency with the Plenary.