A common CROCEU - COMECE - CEC delegation was received in an audience by His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania, on Monday, January 28, 2019, at the Patriarchal Residence in Bucharest. The visit took place in the context of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU, in the first half of 2019.
Patriarch Daniel briefed the delegates on the priorities of the Romanian Presidency, namely ensuring the cohesion and solidarity, as well as the internal and external security of the Union. He emphasised that this Presidency is an opportunity to make more visible and promote Christian values, centred on the dignity and unicity of the human person, which have always been laying at the basis of the European project. The Romanian Orthodox Church, the largest Orthodox Church within the EU, supports European cooperation and solidarity and actively take part in the dialogue with the European institutions, on the basis of Art. 17 of the Treaty for the Functioning of the EU.
The delegates, in their turn, thanked His Beatitude for the warm reception and presented him their reflections and concerns related to the current situation and the future course of the EU. On behalf of CROCEU, Metropolitan Athenagoras of Belgium advocated for the inclusion amongst the top priorities of the concern for the environment, as well as for the enhancing of the religious education that is being offered to European children and youth in public schools throughout the EU.
Brother Olivier Poquillon, on behalf of COMECE, pointed to the digital revolution, the demographic evolution and migration, as well as to the increasing fragility of the institution of the family, as main points of concern for European policy makers. Fr. Heikki Huttunen presented the vision of CEC on the priorities of the Romanian Presidency, mentioning especially the very complex challenges of migration and discrimination, as well as the need for regional security and stability.
His Beatitude thanked the members of the delegation for their visit, blessing and encouraging the work that they do in Brussels.