“The Orthodox Church is ready to be present at every level, open for dialogue, in order to express the needs and hopes of every faithful and to bring its specific contribution to the European common project”, Fr. Sorin Șelaru, Director of the Representation of the Romanian Orthodox Church to the European Institutions, said in the context of the “Conference on the Future of Europe” program.
The European Commission announced the date of May 9, 2021, as the official start of an extensive program called ‘The Conference on the Future of Europe’, one year later than initially planned, due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 10, 2021, the European Parliament President, the Prime Minister of Portugal on behalf of the Presidency of the Council, and the European Commission President have signed the Joint Declaration on the Conference on the Future of Europe.
The director of the Representation of the Romanian Orthodox Church to the European institutions welcomed this common declaration, sharing the hope that the announced project will succeed in expressing the concerns and real aspirations of European citizens.
The conference, which will present its conclusions in spring 2022, sees itself as a response to what the European institutions have understood to be “a growing interest of the citizens of the European Union for a more active participation in taking decisions and adopting future strategies.”
It will try to offer a voice to the European citizens regarding the problems that preoccupy them at every level – European, national, regional, and local – through a plethora of events and debates throughout the Union.
The discussions will also reflect the Strategic Agenda of the European Council, the Political Guidelines of the European Commission for 2019-2024, but also the challenges brought by the pandemic.
In general, the debates will cover subjects such as the fight against climate change, social inequality, intergenerational solidarity, the disruptions brought about in society and at the workplace by technological innovations, the role of the European Union on the global stage, the democratic foundations of the Union, the European rights and values.
The principles which will guide the activities developed under the umbrella of the Conference are inclusivity, openness, and transparency.