The immense role of religion in the debate on the future of Europe, family, education, youth as a primary source of society’s human, social economic and spiritual capital, and promoting peace and security in Europe and in the EU’s external policies will top the agenda of the EPP Group’s 21st Annual Intercultural Dialogue with Churches and Religious Institutions in Lisbon (Mafra), from 18-19 October 2018.
“Portugal is the right location to host and discuss issues related to interreligious dialogue. Not only due to its geographical position as the most Western country in Europe, but its centuries-old global experience of evangelisation. Being only a few months away from the European elections, at a very peculiar geopolitical moment, this summit is an extremely relevant event”, said Paulo Rangel MEP, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament.
“Approaching the end of the current legislative period, this year’s event will offer the opportunity to overview how our EPP Group facilitated the visibility of the role of churches and religious organisations during this parliamentary term. It is high time to present all the achievements of the dialogue we carried out for religious freedoms and beyond, and to define new directions for the future,” highlighted György Hölvényi MEP, Co-chair of the EPP Group’s Working Group on Intercultural Relations and Interreligious Dialogue.
According to Jan Olbrycht MEP, who is also Co-chair of the EPP Group’s Working Group on Intercultural Relations and Interreligious Dialogue, pointed out the significance of the debate on the future of Europe: “A dialogue between politicians, intellectuals, churches and religious communities is inevitable. The European Union is our common house and we must work together to support it.”
Guest speakers will include Olivier Poquillon, General Secretary, Commission of the Bishops’ Conference of the EU, Natan Peres, Rabbi of the Israelite Community of Lisbon, Hassene Chalghoumi, President of the Conference of Imams, France. The Summit will hear from EPP Group MEPs Michèle Alliot-Marie, Elisabetta Gardini, György Hölvényi, Jan Olbrycht, Paulo Rangel, and Nuno Melo.
The EPP Group is the only political Group in the European Parliament that holds regular meetings and conducts active dialogue with churches and religious organisations.