Event

20th Annual EPP Group Intercultural Dialogue with Churches and Religious Institutions

From understanding to cooperation. Promoting interfaith encounters to meet global challenges.
07.12.2017 - 09:00
- 08.12.2017 - 12:30
Last Updated: 10.04.2018 - 17:53
Zagreb, Croatia

20th Annual EPP Group Intercultural Dialogue, Zagreb.

The aim is to promote interfaith encounters to meet global challanges. The main themes of the discussion will be the role of religion in the European integration process, the current migration and refugee crisis and its consequences on society and culture, and cooperation possibilities for mutual understanding.

Event Timetable
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Thursday
Friday
Thursday
09:00
Opening
Speakers
György HÖLVÉNYI, Co-Chairman of the EPP Group Working Group on Intercultural Activities and Religious Dialogue
Jan OLBRYCHT, Co-Chairman of the EPP Group Working Group on Intercultural Activities and Religious Dialogue
Dubravka ŠUICA, Head of the Croatian Delegation of the EPP Group in the European Parliament (EP)
Welcome messages
Speakers
Mairead McGUINNESS, First Vice-President of the European Parliament responsible for dialogue with religions
Joseph DAUL, President of the European People’s Party
Andrej PLENKOVIĆ, Prime Minister of Croatia
Sessions I and II: The role of religion in the European integration process: expectations, potentials, limits
Session I - Memories and lessons learned during 20 years of Dialogue
Co-Chairs:
Speakers
György HÖLVÉNYI, Co-Chairman of the EPP Group Working Group on Intercultural Activities and Religious Dialogue
Jan OLBRYCHT, Co-Chairman of the EPP Group Working Group on Intercultural Activities and Religious Dialogue
Opening message
Speakers
Alojz PETERLE, Formerly responsible for the Interreligious Dialogue in the EPP Group
Interventions
Speakers
Gordan Jandroković, Speaker of the Croatian Parliament
Joseph Daul, President of the European People’s Party
Vito Bonsignore, Former Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group responsible for Islam dialogue
Mons Prof Tadeusz Pieronek, Chairman of the International Krakow Church Conference Organising Committee
Stephen Biller, Former EPP Group Adviser responsible for Interreligious Dialogue
Discussion
Session II - New challenges
Chair
Speakers
Jan OLBRYCHT, Co-Chairman of the EPP Group Working Group on Intercultural Activities and Religious Dialogue
Opening message
Speakers
Othmar KARAS, Formerly responsible of the Interreligious Dialogue in the EPP Group
Interventions
Speakers
Dražen Bošnjaković, Croatian Minister of Justice and President of the Committee for relations with the religious communities
Rev Olivier Poquillon OP, General Secretary of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the EU (COMECE)
Rev Manuel Enrique Barrios Prieto, Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations at the Spanish Bishops’ Conference, Madrid
Rev Laurent Basanese SJ, Director of the Centre for Interreligious Studies at the Jesuit University ‘Gregoriana’ of Rome
Discussion
16:30
Session III: The current migration and refugee crisis and its consequences on society and culture
Chair
Speakers
György HÖLVÉNYI, Co-Chairman of the EPP Group Working Group on Intercultural Activities and Religious Dialogue
Opening message
Speakers
Elmar BROK, Former Chairman of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee
Interventions
Speakers
Archbishop Habib Hormuz Al-Naufali, Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of Basra, Iraq
Nina Obuljen Koržinek, Croatian Minister of Culture
Péter Heltai, Ambassador-at-Large, Hungary Helps Programme, Ministry of Human Capacities, Hungary
Rev Piotr Mazurkiewicz, Professor of Political Sciences in Warsaw, former General Secretary of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the EU (COMECE)
Rabbi Avi Tawil, Director of the European Jewish Community Centre (EJCC)
Official Conclusions

The role of interreligious dialogue has increased in international politics. It is an interesting contradiction, however, that this is happening simultaneously with the more extreme forms of secularisation”, said György Hölvényi MEP, Co-chair of the EPP Group Working Group on Intercultural Activities and Interreligious Dialogue.

The EPP Group held the 20th Interreligious Dialogue in the Croatian capital on the 7th and 8th of December 2017. Guest speakers included the Prime Minister of Croatia, Andrej Plenković, and the President of the European People’s Party, Joseph Daul.

The Conference heard from EPP Group MEPs Mairead McGuinness, First Vice-President of the European Parliament responsible for dialogue with religions, Elmar Brok MEP, Alojz Peterle MEP and Othmar Karas MEP. Members of the Croatian Parliament and many religious representatives also contributed to the discussions.

The 20-year milestone provided a unique opportunity for debate, according to Jan Olbrycht MEP, Co-chair of the EPP Group’s Working Group on Intercultural Activities and Interreligious Dialogue: “On one hand, we concentrated on the participation of churches in the debate on the situation in the Balkans. On the other hand, the meeting provided an excellent opportunity to underline the importance of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, which the EPP Group has been carrying out successfully for the last 20 years, and to take stock of that valuable experience as we shape future policies."

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