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EU-Churches: meeting between European institutions and religious leaders. Timmermans, “we share the same values”

(Brussels) “Religious leaders play a key role in promoting the social inclusion and participation of all members of their groups in Europe as fully-fledged Europeans, regardless of their background or belief”. Frans Timmermans, first deputy president of the European Commission, acted as the “host” at today’s meeting between the European institutions and the religious leaders of the Old Continent, at the Berlaymont, in Brussels. The meeting, the twelfth in a series of yearly meetings launched by the European Commission in 2005, is part of the partnership between politics and religious faiths, laid down by art. 17 of the Lisbon Treaty. Timmermans comments: “Through such talks, we can find the fundamental values we share instead of emphasising what divides us”. After the morning’s work and the press conference, the debate went on at lunch. A notice from the European Commission states that “discussions ranged from the challenges of such phenomena as populism and intolerance to the key role of education and raising the citizens’ awareness to improve social inclusion and cohesion in Europe”. “The leaders agreed to closely cooperate with the European Commission to make sure the European values are adhered to, in the context of migration and social inclusion”.

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