To provide a better response to the increasing number of legal issues posed by the European Institutions to the Churches, the Secretariat raised its staffing level, anticipated the various EU enlargements, intensified its information work through Europe-Infos, its new bulletin, and developed its expertise not only in pastoral but also in legal matters.
In addition to its dialogue seminars with the Commission, COMECE and EECCS (1) , and later with the CEC's Church and Society Commission, developed a tradition of meeting every new President of the European Council since 1997. Thus it finds ways to assist in EU policy-making by making contributions of substance and relevance, drawing inspiration from the Church's Social Doctrine. From the preparation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights to the Treaty of Lisbon, COMECE has been active on all fronts. It issues forceful reminders of the Christian values of a European civilisation that is open to the world, taking care of the common good and the dignity of each individual as a whole human being. Finally, it promotes a relaxed dialogue between faith and politics. Confronted with changes in the religious dimension of Community law, COMECE advocates the idea of a healthy cooperation between the Churches and the Member States with, as guarantee, the inclusion in European texts of statements of the principle of solidarity and the recognition of the contribution of the Churches to the building of Europe. COMECE's voice is certainly heard: Article 17 of the Treaty of Lisbon, taking up Declaration No. 11 of the Annex to the Treaty of Amsterdam, recognises, through consultation with the Churches and religions, the positive and vital role of the latter for society.
Over the years, COMECE has been able first to monitor and later to assist European policy-making. In 2010, it can take up positions ahead of events with considerable legitimacy, placing trust in the European idea that it has been supporting for thirty years, in communion with the whole Church.
Student of History, Master II, Sorbonne-Paris 4
Former intern at COMECE
(1) EECCS: European Ecumenical Commission for Church & Society