On 30 May 2013, the Patriarch of Romania participated in the annual meeting of the religious leaders of Europe with the presidents of the Commission, Council and European Parliament, as well as with other high officials of the EU. This year, the discussions were focused on the concept of European citizenship, 20 years after its introduction, through the Maastricht Treaty, and especially in the context of the multiple challenges that the present economical and social climate addresses to the future European project.
The meeting took place at the headquarters of the European Commission, in the context of the European Year of the European Citizenship, under the motto “Putting the citizens at the heart of the European project in times of change”. So, the participants changed points of view on how the European project can be brought closer to the citizens of the Union. The Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church delivered a speech within this context entitled 2013 – Year of the European Citizenship. The present crisis – a chance to progress in wisdom.
His Eminence Metropolitan Nifon, Archbishop of Targoviste gave details on the discussions held for Trinitas Radio station: “To start with this morning session, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel delivered a speech in which he did stress the fact that wisdom and responsibility are badly needed at all levels in order to promote the European project. The President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso opened this morning’ speeches saying that while we try to promote the European values and take Europe out of crisis it is very clear that we refer to a crisis of trust and of the European values’.
The Patriarch of Romania was accompanied at this meeting by His Eminence Metropolitan Nifon, Archbishop of Targoviste and Patriarchal Exarch for the relationship of the Romanian Patriarchate with the International Christian Institutions, and by Rev. Sorin Selaru, Director of the Representation of the Romanian Orthodox Church at the European Institutions.
Some of the participants were His Beatitude Leo of Karelia, Primate of the Orthodox Church of Finland, His Eminence Emanuel of France, representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the EU and president of the Conference of the European Churches, His Eminence Ieremia, Orthodox Archbishop of Wroclaw and Szczecin and President of the Ecumenical Council of Poland.
Mr. Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, Mr. Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Union Council, Mr. Laszlo Surjan, Vice-president of the European Parliament, Mrs. Viviane Redding, Vice-president of the European Commission and European Commissioner for justice, basic rights and citizenship, and Mr. Dacian Ciolos, European Commissioner for agriculture and rural development participated on behalf of the European institutions – as the website www.orthodoxero.eu informs us.
In the afternoon His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel met Mr. Laslo Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social affairs and Inclusion, Mr. Dacian Ciolos, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural development, as well as Mrs. Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.