Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 349

Posts Tagged ‘council of europe’

Congress of the Council of Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 14 giugno 2019

Bruxelles. The European Committee of the Regions and the Council of Europe’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities both celebrate their 25th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, a ceremony will be held in the European Parliament during the European Committee of the Regions’ June plenary session. Committee president Karl-Heinz Lambertz and Congress president Anders Knape will both address the audience on this occasion.
The ceremony will be followed later in the day by a joint conference at the Committee of the Regions on “The added value of local and regional authorities in building a united Europe”. The aim is to highlight the synergies between the work of the two institutions with a view to strengthening local self-government and regional democracy, a priority common to the committee and the congress.The conference will consist of two discussion panels on decentralisation and the state of local and regional democracy, as well as its practical implementation in the Member States, based on the example of the fight against climate change.The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and the European Committee of the Regions have signed a cooperation agreement that formalises the fields and methods of cooperation between the two institutions. This agreement, signed in 2005 and revised in 2018, forms part of the wider context of the 2007 Memorandum of Understanding between the European Union and the Council of Europe.

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Cunha confirmed as CCEE Secretary General for another 5 year term

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 5 ottobre 2013


Bratislava (Photo credit: Jepes)

Bratislava. Mons. Duarte da Cunha (Duarte Nuno Queiroz de Barros da Cunha) was voted unanimously to serve as CCEE Secretary General for a second five-year term (2013-1018). The Presidents of European Bishops’ Conferences – gathered in Bratislava for their annual Plenary Assembly (October 3-6) – have cast their votes this afternoon at 3.30 PM.
Father Duarte da Cunha was previously elected for the same position during the 2008 Plenary Assembly in Budapest, to succeed Mgr. Aldo Giordano, who is currently the Special Envoy – Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. In this way, CCEE President, Cardinal Péter Erdő – together with Vice-Presidents Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco and Mgr. Józef Michalik, and the Presidents of Bishops’ Conferences – have expressed their appreciation for the work carried out so far by Mgr. da Cunha, also thanking him for his willingness to serve for a second term, The Assembly also thanked the Patriarch of Lisbon, H.E. Mgr. Manuel José Macário do Nascimento Clemente, for his generosity in allowing one of his priests to serve the Church in Europe.
Da Cunha’s Biography is attached.

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Collective complaint to the European Committee of Social Rights

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 12 luglio 2013

The Committee of the European Social Charter of the Council of Europe (Strasbourg) has declared admissible a case on the situation of undocumented migrants in the Netherlands, presented by the Conference of European Churches (CEC). Upon request of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PCN), the Conference of European Churches (CEC) has submitted on 17 January 2013 a “collective complaint” to the European Committee of Social Rights (called below “the Committee”) of the Council of Europe (CoE), which seat is in Strasbourg.
CEC is one of the organisations authorized to lodge a collective complaint under the Revised Social Charter.”If a country really lacks resources, the international community must step in. The Netherlands is however a rich country. Expensive medical assistance is in principle available, whilst food and shelter is denied. Rejection of the destitute has nothing to do with the public recourses of the Netherlands. The State refuses to meet international standards to which it has voluntarily decided to bind itself, complying not even with the minimum core obligations.” told Rev. Richard Fischer from the Church and Society Commission of CEC

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Hungary must abide by EU values, say MEPs

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 4 luglio 2013

The Hungarian authorities must remedy any breaches of key EU values swiftly, said MEPs on Wednesday. If they fail to do so Parliament’s leaders should consider asking the Council of the EU to determine, under EU Treaty Article 7.1, whether there is a clear risk of a serious breach, MEPs say. They also want a high-level group to monitor compliance with the EU’s values in all member states.In the resolution, adopted by 370 votes to 249, with 82 abstentions, Parliament stresses that the EU is founded on key values such as respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law, as enshrined in Article 2 of the EU Treaty.“Constitutional changes in Hungary have been systemic and they have a general trend that moves away from EU values enshrined in EU Treaty Article 2″, said rapporteur Rui Tavares (Greens/EFA, PT) in the debate on Tuesday. “Democracy is about the rule of the majority, but not about majoritarianism”, he added.Parliament regrets that the process of drafting and adopting Hungary’s constitution “lacked the transparency, openness, inclusiveness and, ultimately, the consensual basis that could be expected in a modern democratic constituent process” and deplores the fact that the institutional changes “resulted in a clear weakening of the system of checks and balances”.Parliament urges the Hungarian authorities to remove from the constitution those provisions already declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court, to reduce the recurrent use of cardinal laws, to apply the recommendations of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission, to ensure the widest possible participation of all parties in the constitutional process and to fully guarantee the independence of the judiciary.On media laws, Parliament asks Hungary to set up objective, legally binding procedures for the appointment of heads of public media and regulatory bodies. MEPs also call on the Hungarian authorities to “finally assume their responsibilities towards the homeless”, adopt a broader definition of “family” and do more to integrate Roma communities.

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The return of religion in Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 10 marzo 2012

European flags in front of the Council of Euro...

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Religion as an advocate of social cohesion is the object of renewed interest on the part of the Council of Europe. Besides the principles of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, the issue of religious freedom challenges the experts in Strasbourg more and more. Christ bursts onto the European scene through his faithful who clearly demonstrate not accepting the dimension of their faith being relegated to the private sphere.
The Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences of South-east Europe this year accepted the invitation of the Holy See’s Permanent Observer at the Council of Europe, Mgr Aldo Giordano, to meet in Strasbourg to deepen their knowledge of the European institutions, to discuss and share together with some officials from Strasbourg’s institutions the mutual concern for the true spiritual, political and social good of the peoples of the continent.Participating in the meeting were the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences ….
In the various meetings with officials from the European institutions, inter alia the following issues were tackled.
The Church and the Council of Europe share together the same concerns about the current increase in the cases of violation of freedom of religion in European nations which often result ….
The bishops present examined carefully the Council of Europe’s renewed interest in the religious dimension of its citizens. The role of religion appears …
The fact that religion is assuming ever greater public importance in the lives and consciences of European citizens is extensively demonstrated by ….
Reconciliation, in charity and justice, remains a concern and priority which the Churches of South-east Europe must pursue and promote. It is aimed

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Nine Bishops’ Conferences

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 3 marzo 2012

Strasbourg, France, 5-8 March 2012 Nine Bishops’ Conferences will be represented by their Presidents: Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Moldova, Romania, the International Bishops’ Conference of Saints Cyril and Methodius, and Turkey. “I believe that this meeting can be very significant for both bodies, especially for the mission of promoting and protecting human rights, the rule of law and democracy at the basis of the Council of Europe”, said Mgr Aldo Giordano, the Holy See’s Permanent Observer at the Council of Europe. “It is sufficient just to glance at some of the issues tackled at a European level to become aware ….”. In Strasbourg, the participating bishops will be able to discuss the themes on the Council of Europe’s agenda in a series of meetings with Council officers, including the General Director of Programmes, Ms Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni; Judge Jean-Paul Costa, former President of the European Court of Human Rights; and the President of the Venice Commission, Dr Gianni Buquicchio. “The decision to conclude this first cycle of discussions about our social and ecclesiastical bodies in Strasbourg this year with an examination-dialogue with some representatives from the Council of Europe came very naturally because this European body is the primary international inter-governmental organisation of which all our governments are members”, emphasised Mgr Franjo Komarica, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Bosnia Herzegovina. “At the same time, we know how much the work undertaken in the offices of Strasbourg has a very important impact not just in political, but …”.A particularly important moment for the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences will be the Mass for Europe, scheduled for Wednesday 7 March at 1830 in Strasbourg Cathedral. Invited to the celebration, presided over by the local Archbishop Jean-Pierre Grallet, will be a number of people working in the European institutions: Ambassadors and officials from the Council of Europe, judges from the European Court of Human Rights, as well as members of the church communities and organisations which take part in the European journey from close quarters.

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Hungary: MEPs hear from civil society, media and the government

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 11 febbraio 2012

Democracy, freedom and the rule of law in Hungary were the focus of a Civil Liberties Committee hearing on Thursday with representatives of the Hungarian media, civil society and government. Some MEPs called for a “fundamental rights check” to on whether there is a risk of a serious breach of EU values, while others suggested awaiting the outcome of the European Commission’s dialogue with the Hungarian government.”I continue to have grave concerns about the current situation in Hungary. And these concerns are based on facts, not myths!”, said Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes. She stressed that media freedom matters, not just because it is a fundamental right, but also “because private investors and international institutions need to know they have full access to independent media analysis”, and “the Hungarian authorities should be careful not to give them any other impression”.
Ms Kroes said that the Commission expects two things from the Hungarian government: “First, they should explicitly and transparently ask the Council of Europe for a comprehensive opinion on the compliance of the media legislation (…) with fundamental values. Second, they should accept and implement any concrete recommendations that are made by the Council of Europe”. She asked Hungary’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Public Administration and Justice Tibor Navracsics, whether the Hungarian authorities were willing to do this.
“The Hungarian Government is firmly committed to working with EU institutions”, Mr Navracsics replied. “We are fully committed to democracy and the rule of law”, he stressed, citing the fact that “the Constitutional Court ruled that the media law was not in line with the Constitution and we duly changed it. That is because we have a system of checks and balances”.
Asked again by Ms Kroes whether the Hungarian authorities would act on the Council of Europe opinion, Mr Navracsics replied that “we will take the Council of Europe opinion into account”. However, “the Council of Europe cannot impose anything that goes against our Constitution”, he added. “That is different to what you said in my office”, replied Ms Kroes.

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Vital role for churches

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 11 ottobre 2011

Council of Europe Palais de l'Europe aerial vi...

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The Conference on Education for Democratic Citizenship – a role for the churches? took place from October 5-7 in Strasbourg. Organised by the Church and Society Commission (CSC) of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), the conference brought together members of churches and church organisations, clergy, lay, NGOs and academics, to discuss and debate how the church can act as a responsible part of civil society. This was confirmed through a dialogue with representatives of the institutions of the Council of Europe and a member of the cabinet of the EU Commissioner responsible for education. The timing of this dialogue is right, in view of the pending launch of the budget for education, which will be raised by 75% to 15,2 bn € (see note 1). One very encouraging outcome of the conference was the achievement of openness on the part of the officials of the EU and of local government to keep the dialogue with the churches going. That is a promise for the future.

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Pastoral work in South-east Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 8 marzo 2011

The eleventh meeting of the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences of South-east Europe took place in Nicosia (Cyprus) from 3-6 March at the invitation of His Excellency Mgr Youssef Soueif Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus. Seven Bishops’ Conferences were represented: Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Romania and the SS Cyril and Methodius International Conference, along with the diocese of Chisinau (Republic of Moldova). Also participating in the meeting were the Apostolic Nuncio to Cyprus, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, and the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, as well as a number of experts.As an opportunity of preparation for the next XXVIth World Youth Day (Madrid, 16-21 August 2011), the basic theme chosen for this meeting was: “Rooted in Christ. Strong in faith. Youth pastoral work in South-east Europe”. In the course of the meeting, the participants met the President of the Republic of Cyprus, His Excellency Dimitris Christofias, to whom they expressed their hope that as soon as possible the people of Cyprus might be able to resolve their political problems peacefully and at last be united in one country, that refugees might be able to return to their lands, and places of worship be restored to their original function. The meeting was also an opportunity to remember and entrust to the Lord’s mercy Bishop Luigi Padovese, the former President of the Turkish Bishops’ Conference who used to participate in these meetings, who was brutally murdered last June. The participants wanted to express their solidarity and communion with the Church in Turkey and with all suffering Churches.

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Religious education: A resource for Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 30 aprile 2009

Round Table at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg – Council of Europe, 4 May 2009 The results of a European survey will be presented on 4 May in Strasbourg, at the Council of Europe, on the occasion of a European meeting on ‘Religious education: a resource for Europe’.  The initial results of this research follow. The research on religious education in European schools, carried out between January 2005 and November 2007, was promoted by the Council of the Episcopal Conferences of Europe (CCEE), on the initiative, and with the operational and financial support of, the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), through the National Office for IRC (Teaching of the Catholic faith). It enabled: the creation of a network of people, delegated by the Bishops’ Conferences, able to share the experiences of the various Churches in Europe on the themes of the teaching of religion;   the gathering of a large amount of information on the situation of religious education in the schools of Europe through 33 “national reports” compiled by the Church delegates; a synoptic table drawn up by the staff and confirmed by the delegates; a proposal for synthetic “transversal reading”; some contributions for reflection on the themes which emerged from the national reports;  the production of a conclusive document, summarising the research, shared by all the delegates of the Catholic Churches of Europe.  From the research, it emerged substantially that RE takes place in almost all the countries of Europe according to “two main formulas: one of religious education based on the model of religious studies directly managed by the state, and one of denominational religious education in which the Churches (and, where they are present, other religious denominations) play an active part”. (Acts, quotation p. 301) Denominational religious education is the more dominant model at the European level.  In the final document the delegates confirm the Churches’ commitment to working with the states in the field of education. In particular, they express the belief that RE is important for the growth of the whole person and a worthy contribution to the building of a new citizenship.To ‘help’ this teaching to fulfil its proper function, the delegates emphasised that, among others, it is necessary to have “stable institutional and juridical guarantees, full academic recognition, integration into timetables, open to all, coherent and credible alternatives, and recognised and effective evaluation.’  This initiative is under the patronage of the President of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Pöttering; Ján Figel’, European Commissioner responsible for Education, Training, Culture and Youth; and comes under the auspices of the Secretary General the Honourable Terry Davis and the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Mme Maud de Boer-Buquicchio.

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