Event

Churches and religious organisations’ accessibility to EU funding for cooperation projects

27.06.2017 - 16:30
- 27.06.2017 - 18:30
Last Updated: 10.04.2018 - 17:31
ASP 5H-1, European Parliament, Brussels

Churches and religious organisations carry out valuable work in several critical areas such as health, education, conflict prevention, peace building and poverty reduction in third countries. In the current EU legal framework and their respective instruments, they are eligible for EU funding. However, sometimes they have difficulty in directly accessing EU funds in development cooperation or humanitarian projects as they are qualified as non-partial or non-neutral organisations. The aim of this conference is to reflect on how to possibly improve the current situation, with full respect for the rules, principles and accountability standards.

Event Timetable
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Tuesday
16:30
Welcome
Speakers
György HÖLVÉNYI, Co-Chair of the EPP Group Working Group on Intercultural and Religious Dialogue
16:35
First Panel
International & EU standards: partnerships between international organisations and faith-based organisations on development and humanitarian projects
Speakers
José Luis Bazán, Legal Advisor, Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE), Brussels
Peter Pavlovic, Study Secretary, Conference of European Churches (CEC), Brussels
17:00
Second Panel
States and faith-based organisations’ partnerships on development and humanitarian aid
Speakers
Tamás Török, Deputy State Secretary responsible for helping persecuted Christians, Hungarian Ministry of Human Resources (EMMI)
Filip Buff Pedersen, Project Leader, Danish Mission Council
Thomas Lawo, Senior Adviser, PaRD Secretariat, International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development, c/o Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
17:45
Third Panel
The EU perspective on partnerships and funding faith-based organisations’ development or humanitarian projects
Speakers
Stefano Manservisi, Director-General, DG DEVCO, European Commission
Chiara Gariazzo, Director, General Affairs, DG ECHO, European Commission
Marcela Szymanski, Head of Brussels Office, Aid to the Church in Need
18:25
Conclusions
Speakers
Jan OLBRYCHT, Co-Chair of the EPP Interreligious Dialogue & Intercultural Activities Service
Official Conclusions

Churches and religious organisations carry out valuable work in several critical areas such as health, education, conflict prevention, peace-building and poverty reduction in third countries. In the current EU legal framework and their respective instruments, they are eligible for EU funding. However, sometimes they have difficulty in directly accessing EU funds in development cooperation or humanitarian projects as they are qualified as non-partial or non-neutral organisations. The aim of this conference was to reflect on how to possibly improve the current situation, with full respect for the rules, principles and accountability standards.

"The European Union should recognise the social activities of churches and religious organisations", stressed György Hölvényi MEP, Co-Chairman of the EPP Group's Working Group on Intercultural Relations and Interreligious Dialogue. The Conference discussed the possibilities for effective participation of churches in EU humanitarian and development programmes.

György Hölvényi underlined that the capabilities of religious organisations should be utilised in EU development programmes by creating partnerships.

Tamas Török, Deputy State Secretary responsible for helping persecuted Christians, Hungarian Ministry of Human Resources, informed the participants about the joint efforts of the Hungarian government and churches in aid of Christians in the Middle East. Stefano Manservisi, European Commission Director-General for Development, and Chiara Gariazzo, European Commission Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, praised the peace-building and social mobilisation role of religious organisations.

"While, for example, the World Bank is a trusted partner of religious organisations, EU practice makes it impossible for them to engage in European programmes", said José Luis Bazán, legal advisor at the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE).

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Press Contacts

Cliona Connolly
Press Relations Legal and Home Affairs Working Group, Ireland; Communications Strategy
Phone: +32 475 957 874
Gábor Török
Intercultural and Religious Activities; Arab Peninsula; Iraq
Phone: