CROCEU 2023 New Year's Reception, in Brussels
The 2023 New Year's Reception of the Committee of Representatives of Orthodox Churches to the European Union (CROCEU) took place on 24 January, at the recently inaugurated Orthodox Center Ambiorix, in Brussels' EU quarter. It brought together friends and partners of the Committee, diplomats and officials who are involved in the development of the dialogue between Churches and EU institutions.
Welcoming the guests, His Eminence Metropolitan ATHENAGORAS of Belgium, offered a brief overview of the history of the Orthodox representation to the EU, over the past two decades, while at once stressing the ever-stringent need for the Churches to make their voices heard, in a coherent and united manner, given the many challenges Europe and the world are currently facing: "Above all, let us not stop at words, but let us do things together for the good of our European society and that of the whole world, but above all for the people who live here, whoever they are."
CROCEU General Secretary, Revd. Fr. George VALCU, thanked to all present for the good cooperation thus far and expressed his hope for its further development. "As we still find ourselves in the midst of this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, I am glad to see and to say that, while many others are speaking of an “ecumenical winter”, we here in Brussels manage to keep our relation so warm, in spite of the most-of-the-times cold, wet and windy environment! I do hope that we will be able, in the year and in the years to come, to develop our relations even more, not merely at the diplomatic and general level and format, but giving them even more concrete substance and resulting in concrete policies, facilitating the achievement of the often-times spoken-off, though at times forgotten or at least 'put into brackets', common good," he said.