EYCE Press Release: EYCE General Secretary takes part in High-Level Religious Leaders meeting at the European Commission.

Yesterday, on the 12th of July 2012, the EYCE General Secretary Kristine Jansone represented the voice of young Christians at the annual High-Level Religious Leaders meeting, which took place at the European Commission. Upon the invitation of José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, the meeting brought together more than twenty senior representatives from Christian, Muslim and Jewish religions and from the Hindu and Bahá’í communities from all over Europe.

The meeting was co-chaired by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and László Surján, Vice-President of the European Parliament representing President Martin Schulz. The meeting was held under the headline ‘Intergenerational Solidarity: Setting the Parameters for Tomorrow’s Society in Europe’.

Drawing upon the demographic challenges in Europe and challenges caused by the economic and financial crisis, the leaders outlined the causes and solutions of the present crisis. The crisis in interpersonal relationships and lack of values was often pointed out as crucial elements lacking for a fully functional and solidarity-based society. In addition, many leaders called upon cherishing the value of the traditional family and the concept of intergenerational solidarity was highlighted as a basis for wider solidarity between various age groups in the society, where wisdom and advice is transmitted.

In her input EYCE General Secretary Kristine Jansone strongly emphasized the situation of young people in Europe and the need to involve young people to a larger extent in the processes where long term decisions about the present and future of young people are made. Especially highlighting the role of solidarity and education, Ms. Jansone stressed the work of the youth organisations in enhancing solidarity and participation, as well as pointed out the need for structural support for the International NGOs.

The meeting clarified the strong need of involvement of religious communities and related organisations in enhancing the solidarity in the society and showing examples of interaction and cooperation between the different social and cultural groups in the society. Also, President Barroso encouraged religious leaders to engage in public dialogue and show the specific contributions that churches and religious communities can make to explain the need for solidarity.

For more information see: http://ec.europa.eu/bepa/activities/outreach-team/dialogue/index_en.htm