Meeting of the Committee of Representatives of Orthodox Churches to the European Union (CROCEU)
On November 28, 2023, the meeting of the Committee of Representatives of Orthodox Churches to the European Union (CROCEU) took place at the "Orthodox Center Ambiorix" in Brussels.
It was the first meeting in the new format after some Orthodox representation offices in Brussels underwent changes this year regarding the composition of members. Thus, His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Belgium became the president of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople Office to the European Union, while Archpriests Konstantinos Kenanidis and Father Pawel Cecha were appointed Secretary and Advisor, respectively.
Furthermore, His Excellency Bishop Apostolos of Tanagra is the new director of the Representation of the Church of Greece in Brussels.
In addition to the new members, the other participants in the CROCEU meeting were Archpriest Sorin Selaru and Father George Valcu (Romanian Patriarchate), and Father Stoyan Berbatov (Bulgarian Patriarchate).
This meeting can be seen as a relaunch with a new team of representatives. The moderator of CROCEU is His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras, and the general secretary is Father George Valcu.
Among other things, during the meeting, decisions were made regarding the participation in events and dialogues with European institutions, as well as various aspects of internal organization. The assumed and stated purpose of the members of CROCEU is to act as much as possible as a team and to represent the Orthodox Church with one voice. This applies to both high-level meetings organized by the European Commission and the European Parliament and meetings organized by COMECE, CEC, PPE, and other initiatives. The members of CROCEU are the only Orthodox representatives in Brussels who have officially received the mandate to represent their Churches with the European institutions and to conduct this institutional dialogue based on Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
The aim now is to further highlight CROCEU by participating in numerous activities and by establishing a website and other means of communication.
CROCEU also hopes to participate soon in a meeting with the Belgian Prime Minister during the Belgian presidency of the EU.
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