2013 april18 20

The topic of the last annual Central Committee of the Church and Society Commission, held in Brussels on 18-20 April, was the “European Year of Citizenship”. During the sessions held, representatives of the Christian denominations (Orthodox, Protestant, Jesuit) and representatives of the European Commission developed the capacity and the importance of active citizenship in today's European reality. Mr C. Leitz on behalf of Commissioner Mrs V. Redig, also, presented the rationale for the declaration of 2013 as the year of "European citizenship" by the European Commission and the various activities planned. The Central Committee members asked for improved transparency in decision-making at both national and European level. Citizens must know clearly where and how to get involved in the political process so as to allow changes in the society.

Bishop Porfyrios of Neapolis, representative of the Church of Cyprus informed the committee members for the predicament to which the Cypriot people has come after the unfair and biased decisions of the Eurogroup, on 16th and 24th of March. He explained the actions the Church of Cyprus has taken to support the trialled Cypriot people and its critical attitude towards the European Union's decision. Committee members expressed their support and solidarity with the people of Cyprus.

Next the Central Committee discussed in detail the forthcoming General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) which will take place between 3-8 July at Budapest, Hungary. During this General Meeting there will be a revision of the CEC constitution upon specific proposals submitted by the Revision Working Group. The need to safeguard the work that the Church and Society Commission performs in the new structures of the CEC that will arise after the General Assembly of Budapest was emphasized.

At the end of the three-day meeting in a modest farewell ceremony, the Central Committee thanked its Director, pastor Rudigen Noll for his eleven–year service to the Commission and offered him honorary gifts. At the end of May he will be leaving to take up a new position at a German organization.

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