Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Summit of Religious Leaders Conference - 10th Annual

Comece Release: 
Cardinal Marx: "To regain confidence takes concrete solutions"

At the 10th Summit of religious leaders of various religions and denominations, Cardinal Reinhard Marx led the delegation of the Catholic Church, which comprised Jean-Pierre Grallet, Archbishop of Strasbourg and COMECE member, and Professor Margaret S. Archer, head of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. The hosts of this meeting at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels were the Presidents of the European Commission and the European Council, José Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy, and the Vice-President of the European Parliament László Surján.

unknownIn the light of the results of the European elections, the growing Euro-scepticism and the economic crisis, as well as the attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels a few days ago, the participants discussed questions related to the future of Europe and its social dimension.
For Cardinal Marx, the EU can only regain the trust of the citizens, if it brings concrete solutions to current problems and challenges, such as unemployment, climate change, migration, or the negotiations on the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TTIP). "If the EU proposes concrete solutions, it will be better accepted," said Cardinal Marx.

"Jean Monnet once said that a united Europe should be a contribution to a better world. The question of whether Europe is contributing to a better world has to be asked in all activities of the Union, including the free trade agreement. It offers the opportunity to contribute on the basis of shared Western values inspired by Christianity to shaping international standards and global governance. "
As regards the TTIP, Cardinal Marx specifically commented: "Free trade always offers the opportunity for greater prosperity, and has therefore to be initially welcomed. But the market always also needs clear rules. The two transatlantic partners who together represent the Western world marked by Christianity, can promote such an agreement to bring clear, ethically-grounded standards to the global economy. Therefore, the Free Trade Agreement means for Europe and the U.S not only an opportunity but a special responsibility.

Among the ethical issues that lie behind the free trade agreement, there is above all the question of who benefits from the agreement: Does the proposed agreement answer the claim of serving the common good? Does this agreement only serve rich nations to shield themselves in order to preserve greater benefits for themselves at the expense of developing and emerging countries? Or will we manage it such that this free trade agreement also benefits the most vulnerable in the world? "

At the beginning of the meeting, the participants stopped for a minute's silence for the victims of the attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels on May 24 and issued a joint statement on Meriam Ibrahim the Sudanese Christian who has been condemned to death for ‘apostasy’.

Speech Cardinal Marx (in German only)

Shared from COMECE

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