Work Priorities for CEC 2009-2015Work Priorities for CEC 2009-2015

Sibiu Assembly (Photo: CEC/Cristian Gennari)


Here are the collected work priorities for the three commissions and the General Secretariat of CEC. Below you can find both entire documents for downloading as well as the gathered priorities presented in bullet points which are linked to the original text.

CEC Member Churches' contributions and comments are expected by the 10th March 2009.  Read more here.

Europe’s role in refugee protection in the 21st century

  • Defending asylum (including complementary protection)
  • Additional forms of refugee protection; including resettlement of refugees to Europe
  • Revising the need for protection (e.g. environmental refugees, internal displacement)

Human Dignity in the process of labour migration

  • A uniform set of rights for all migrants
  • Ratification of binding legal instruments Europe-wide and globally
  • Advocating for the right to family life as sine qua non of integration
  • Monitoring expulsion, detention and removal of migrants
  • Address situations of migrants in irregular situation

Countering contemporary forms of slavery, in particular trafficking in human beings

  • Trafficking in women
  • Trafficking for forced labour

Uniting in Diversity: Migration as an opportunity and challenge for the unity of the church

  • Being Church together
  • Integration and the role of religion
  • Theological reflection on migration

Churches as witness to inclusive communities in Europe

  • Anti-discrimination legislation: monitoring and promotion in churches
  • Inclusion of ethnically discriminated groups: within church and society
  • Churches addressing racism

Migration and development

  • Monitoring policy development at European level
  • Cooperation with other regions, particularly through the World Council of Churches and its Global Ecumenical Network on Migration
  • Networking with church development agencies and identifying relevant projects

European year of churches responding to migration 2010

1. European Integration: a value-based project

  • to further reflect together with member churches on the value basis of the European integration process and to remain in dialogue with the European institutions on implementing commonly shared values
  • in context of ongoing integration to address East – West differences in Europe
  • to monitor the relationship of the EU with the candidate countries
  • to monitor the relations of EU members states with Eastern Europe countries both within the context of EU (the European Neighbourhood Policy) and the other pan-European organisations (OSCE, CoE)
  • to address cultural and religious diversity in Europe;


2. Globalisation: justice and responsibility

  • to follow up the recommendation of the Third European Ecumenical Assembly in Sibiu calling for initiation of a consultative process, addressing European responsibility for ecological justice and for the just shaping of globalisation;
  • to work on raising awareness of churches in Europe on the process of globalisation and its consequences;
  • to strengthen a common voice of churches in Europe in addressing globalisation;
  • to intensify cooperation with the churches’ specialised ministries providing development aid on the European level and in relation to the European institutions.
  • to intensify a dialogue between churches in Europe and churches from other continents;
  • to contribute actively to the WCC process on Wealth, Poverty and Ecology.


3. Environment and Climate Change: change our lifestyle

  • to examine environmental questions from a theological and ethical perspective and to strengthen the common witness of the churches on topics such as mobility, eco-management and sustainability;
  • to continue to support ECEN as a network of European churches and to support, inter alia through ECEN, CEC member churches in strengthening their environmental work
  • to promote a Creation Time in European churches (EEA3 recommendation)
  • to implement the European eco-management and audit scheme (EMAS) at the Ecumenical Centre in Brussels and to continue help managing CEC meetings in a more ecologically sound way
  • to bring the voice of churches in the European policy debate on issues related to climate change, the promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources and to support their engagement in the public discussion at the national level.


4. Social and Economic Policies: challenging the growing gap

  • to work for just societies that provide opportunities and access to participate for everyone according to his or her capacities.
  • to promote employment policies, which pay special attention on precarious work situations and on the excluded from the labour market.
  • to strengthen the role of churches and diaconal ministries as providers of social and healthcare services.
  • to intensify networking among CEC member churches and associated organisations on social and economic issues and to intensify cooperative links with other stakeholders in this area.
  • to promote Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Socially Responsible Investment (SRI), including helping CEC member churches to develop their own strategies.


5. Agriculture and Rural Life: care for rural communities

  • to monitor the developments within the European institutions, regarding the reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy and the global trade negotiations according to the ethical criteria and their implications included in the policy document.
  • to provide, in cooperation with the Churches European Rural Network (CERN), a platform for churches to address issues related to agriculture and rural life.


6. Human Rights and Religious Freedom: defending the equal value of all human beings

  • to offer a platform to European churches for the reflection on human rights from a theological perspective and sharing best practices
  • to study human rights issues (religious freedom, anti-discrimination, gender equality, children’s rights etc.) in relation to the needs of member churches and in view of developments in the European institutions
  • to continue to strengthen the engagement of member churches in the protection of human rights, e.g. by developing a human rights manual with training sessions for churches as a theological contribution to the human rights education and by fostering the networking among churches on human rights
  • to assist the member churches in South Eastern Europe in implementing human rights, dealing with the consequences from the Communist past and strengthening the rule of law and democracy
  • to bring majority and minority churches together on the issue of religious freedom
  • to strengthen the common voice of the member churches on human rights vis-à-vis the European institutions and to contribute in particular to the OSCE Advisory Council on Freedom of Religion and Belief, the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Human Rights and the EU Fundamental Rights Agency.


7. Ethics, Science and Technology, including Bioethics and Biotechnology: New ethical challenges

  • to continue bringing together the churches’ opinions and ethical reflections on bioethical and biotechnological issues;
  • to examine the impact of information and communication technologies from a theological and ethical perspective;
  • to intensify the work on new technologies such as nanotechnology;
  • to monitor the European institutions as they develop a political framework in the area of research, science and technology, with an emphasis on bioethics and biotechnology;
  • to bring the churches’ voice to the debate within the European institutions including the mid-term evaluation of the 7th EU Research Programme.


8. Peace, Security and Reconciliation: Non-violent conflict prevention and crisis management

  • to reflect from a theological perspective on the concept of non-violence and its implications, including, for instance, issues related to the relation between security and vulnerability, just peace, and the preferential option for non-violence.
  • to strengthen the common reflection and action of European churches on issues related to peace, security and reconciliation, such as the arms trade and the proliferation of small arms and nuclear weapons
  • to support churches and church-related networks engaged in peace-building and reconciliation
  • to monitor and lobby the European and global political institutions with the aim to increase their non-military capacity for conflict prevention and conflict management.


9. Education: Promoting shared values

  • to offer a platform for churches and church-related organisations to reflect in view of the programmes of the European institutions on the role of the churches in promoting education in the field of inter-cultural dialogue and active European citizenship.
  • to bring the common voice of churches and church-related organisations through effective instruments to the European institutions as they reflect and develop programmes on education.
  • to promote the recognition of churches as important stakeholders in the field of formal and non-formal education in the European institutions.


10. Intercultural and Inter-Religious Dialogue: Promoting tolerance and non-discrimination

  • to provide a platform for churches to reflect on the concept and best practices of intercultural dialogue and to share experiences;
  • to continue to be a critical partner of the European institutions for activities in the field of intercultural dialogue including the implementation of the Council of Europe’s White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue and the follow-up of the (EU) European Year for Intercultural Dialogue 2008;
  • to foster inter-religious dialogue in view of the European institutions’ agenda;
  • to engage with churches in cities in relation to the joint EU – Council of Europe project on “Intercultural Cities”. Strategies to meet the challenges of cultural diversity are about to be developed in collaboration with pilot cities;
  • to offer a platform of exchange for churches involved in the EU programmes of the European Cultural Capitals.