Today around twenty high-level representatives of three main churches in Europe – Christianity, Judaism and Islam – gathered at the Commission headquarters for an informal dialogue with the EU.
Co-chaired by Commission President José Manuel Barroso and the President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering., the meeting – the fifth annual meeting of the heads of EU institutions with religious leaders – focused on the economic and financial crisis and ethical contributions for European and global economic governance.
As the financial and economic crisis progresses, it becomes increasingly clear that the moment has come to reconcile economic governance with fundamental ethical values on which the European project has been based over the last 50 years. The Commission has taken important initiatives in this regard, notably in financial market regulation, with a view to strengthening the sense of responsibility and sustainability in EU economies. Values as solidarity, human dignity represent founding principles. The contribution of religions and churches is thought of as crucial to this.
Participants at the meeting encouraged the EU’s efforts to coordinate, stimulate and guide action to strengthen financial regulation, revive the economy and act on employment in Europe and worldwide. They also underlined the need to ensure that social justice remains at the forefront of policy making and recalled that in a moment when unemployment and poverty keep rising to very worrying levels, our societies should be able to act together in developing and implementing concrete measures to contain the effects of the crisis on citizens. They finally underlined their commitment to help reviving the sense of solidarity among Europeans of all creeds and convictions and inspiring more ethics in the behaviour of financial and economic operators.