Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community


The Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (Latin: Commissio Episcopatuum Communitatis Europaeae; COMECE) is the association of Catholic Church episcopal conferences in member states of the European Union (EU) which officially represents those episcopal conferences at EU institutions.[1][3]

Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community
Commissio Episcopatuum Communitatis Europaeae
AbbreviationCOMECE
PredecessorEuropean Catholic Pastoral Information Service
Established3 March 1980; 41 years ago (1980-03-03)
TypeAssociation without lucrative purpose
PurposeRepresent episcopal conferences of EU member states at EU institutions
HeadquartersBrussels, Belgium
Region served
European Union
Membership
Bishops delegated by episcopal conferences of EU member states
President
Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich
Main organ
Secretariat
Websitecomece.eu
[1][2]

COMECE bishops are delegated by Catholic episcopal conferences in EU member states and has a permanent Secretariat in Brussels, Belgium.[1][4] It was established in 1980 and replaced the European Catholic Pastoral Information Service (SIPECA, 1976–1980). Discussions during the 1970s about creating an episcopal conferences' liaison organization to the European Community led to the decision, on the eve of the 1979 European Parliament election, to establish COMECE.[2]

Objectives


The objectives of COMECE are to:

  • monitor EU "political processes" and "legal developments"[5]
  • communicate "opinions and views" about "European integration in the light of" Catholic social teaching[5]
  • communicate "concerns and opinions" of bishops about "the construction of a peaceful and prosperous Europe for all" to EU institutions[5]
  • offer "the co-operation and the service of the Church" to EU institutions[5]
  • respond to "questions and problems" of EU institutions[5]
  • maintain "transparent and regular dialogue with the EU Institutions"[5]
  • "inform and raise awareness among" episcopal conferences in EU member states and Catholics about topics of "common interest dealt with by the different institutions of the EU"[5]
  • assist episcopal conferences in EU member states with understanding "the challenges posed by" European integration[5]
  • "foster collegiality" between episcopal conferences in EU member states "in developing specific actions" with respect to European "social and ethical problems"[5]

Organisation


COMECE's president is currently Jean-Claude Hollerich, archbishop of Luxembourg. It has first Vice-President Bishop Noel Treanor and three other vice-presidents, currently Bishop Mariano Crociata, Bishop Jan Vokál and Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck. The official who runs the office on a day-to-day basis is the General Secretary, currently the Rev. Dr. Patrick Daly. The General Secretary is appointed for a three-year term renewable term.

COMECE is funded by the episcopal conferences in EU member states.[1] Its secretariat is currently made of 10 people.[1]

Presidents of COMECE


General Secretaries of COMECE


  • March 1980 (1980-03)  March 1993 (1993-03): Fr. Paul Huot-Pleuroux
  • March 1993 (1993-03)  February 2008 (2008-02): Fr. Noel Treanor
  • March 2008 (2008-03)  November 2012 (2012-11): Fr. Piotr Mazurkiewicz [pl]
  • February 2013 (2013-02)  May 2016 (2016-05): Fr. Patrick Daly
  • September 2016 (2016-09)  September 2019 (2019-09): Fr. Olivier Poquillon
  • September 2019 (2019-09): Fr. Manuel Enrique Barrios Prieto

Publications


COMECE and the Jesuit European Social Centre publish a monthly digital newsletter, europeinfos, to make the meaning and purpose of the European project better known to citizens, and especially to the local churches.[6]

See also


References


  1. "Secretariat of COMECE (Commission of the Episcopates of the European Community)". ec.europa.eu. European Commission. Joint Transparency Register Secretariat. 12 April 2016. Transparency Register id: 47350036909-69. Archived from the original on 2 May 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  2. "Our history". comece.eu. Brussels, BE: Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community. Archived from the original on 3 May 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  3. Turner, Frank (2013). "The Roman Catholic Church and the European institutions: dialogue and advocacy at the European Union". In Leuştean, Lucian N. (ed.). Representing religion in the European Union: does God matter?. Routledge studies in religion and politics. London [u.a.]: Routledge. pp. 77, 82–83. ISBN 9780415685047.
  4. "Who we are". comece.eu. Brussels, BE: Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community. Archived from the original on 1 April 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  5. "Our mission". comece.eu. Brussels, BE: Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community. Archived from the original on 4 May 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  6. "Revue Europe-Infos". jesuites.com (in French). Jésuites de la Province de France. Archived from the original on 17 June 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2015.