European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans on November 7 hosted a high-level meeting with religious leaders from across Europe.

The 13th annual gathering, which was also attended by European Parliament Vice-President Mairead McGuinness, was part of the ongoing debate on the Future of Europe. It was launched by President Jean-Claude Juncker with the Commission’s White Paper in March.

“The future of Europe is in the hands of its citizens,” said Timmermans. “Shaping that future is our collective responsibility, our shared values our compass. The regular dialogue with confessional organisations, like the one with non-confessional organisations, allows us to address the issue of our common future from different perspectives. It is through inclusive dialogue that we can chart the best course for our common future.”

The November 7 meeting was part of the regular dialogue with churches, religious communities, philosophical and non-confessional organisations foreseen by Article 17 of the Lisbon Treaty. It provided an occasion to hold in-depth discussions on questions addressing issues of values and governance.