Confidence in European Union Hinges on Fidelity to Values, Bishops Say

Statement to Laeken Summit on Continent´s Future

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

BRUSSELS, Belgium, DEC. 6, 2001 ( Bishops of the Old World appealed to political leaders of the European Union to recover the values that gave birth to its rise.

On Wednesday the Commission of the Bishops´ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) published a declaration, «Build the Confidence of Citizens in Europe´s Future,» in anticipation of the European Union summit in Laeken, Belgium, from Dec. 14-15.

During the summit, European political leaders will establish the agenda and calendar of a convention that will lay the foundations for a fundamental reform of the European Union.

«The Declaration of Laeken will launch a process that should, between now and 2004, answer a number of fundamental questions,» the European bishops emphasize.

According to the bishops, the questions the European leaders must answer, are the following: What should the European Union do? How should it be organized to do this most effectively and accountably? What are the principles and values on which it should be founded?

The bishops noted that the principles and values that founded the process of European integration, «such as the dignity of the human person, solidarity and subsidiarity,» are supported by Church social doctrine.

These principles, the bishops stress, must be implemented so that citizens regain hope «in the values and objectives of European integration, in the procedures of the European institutions, and in the people responsible for carrying them out.»

Hence, European integration «is more than just an economic and political option.» It is «a synonym for sustainable peace — both inner peace, resulting from the new forms of social and political cooperation, and outer peace, through the EU´s contribution to global development and [the resolution] of conflict,» the bishops explained.

«Recent dramatic world events demonstrate the importance of a united Europe, able to speak with one voice on the world stage, and to contribute to the global common good by drawing on its experience of solving problems through dialogue, cooperation, solidarity and the promotion of human rights, rather than by the use of force,» the episcopal declaration states.

The bishops also remind the political leaders that the Declaration of Laeken must not forget «those states currently negotiating to become members of the European Union, by inviting them to participate in the work of the convention.»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation