intercultural dialogue

Intercultural dialogue


Building Peace and Security
Press Release
18.10.2016 - 14:33
Peace and security for Europe and its neighbours and the central role of interreligious dialogue will top the agenda at the 19th annual EPP Group Intercultural Dialogue with Churches and Religious Institutions in Venice on Thursday and Friday this...
EPP Group meets with religious leaders to promote peace in Syria
13.10.2016 - 15:00
The EPP Group’s Intercultural and Religious Dialogue unit organised a meeting with three high-ranked Syrian religious leaders who represent the majority of Christians remaining in Syria. They called for an end to the war in Syria and are...
Searching for peace in the Middle East
02.05.2016 - 10:37
Christian minority groups are being heavily persecuted by terrorist groups such as ISIS across the Middle East. In addition, large numbers are fleeing the conflict in Syria to countries like Lebanon.MEPs discussed the situation of this Christian...
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Press Release
21.04.2015 - 17:54
Following the visit of spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to the European Parliament on 21 April, Alojz Peterle MEP, co-host of the event, said: “Sri Sri has helped to transform the lives of many, without changing their spiritual...





Consequences of the conflicts in the Middle East on Christians and their future
27.04.2016 - 16:30

Consequences of the conflicts in the Middle East on Christians and their future

This conference is part of the Visit of Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rahi which takes place on Wednesday 27 April...
Interreligious Dialogue - The Albanian Case
26.01.2016 - 09:30

Interreligious Dialogue: The Albanian Case

Interpretation: DE EN FR HU IT PL
18th Annual Intercultural Dialogue
11.12.2015 - 15:00

18th Annual Intercultural Dialogue Conference

On Friday, the EPP Group's annual conference on Intercultural Dialogue will start in Prague. This year, it will...



Why intercultural dialogue is important

Intercultural Dialogue

Daily events in the world and in Europe continuously highlight the fundamental importance of churches and religious communities in resolving conflict and social peace both on a regional and on a local level. Religious institutions in many ways help create, communicate and protect societal values. By doing so, they exert a significant amount of direct and indirect influence on society. Churches do not operate by themselves but through the people who belong to them. So when we speak about churches, we are not speaking only about institutions, but also about hundreds of millions of people around the world who are believers.

Manfred WEBER
Chairman of the EPP Group
Supported by

It is important for the EPP Group (Christian-Democrats) to keep contact with the representatives of various religious groups while mutually acknowledging each others’ independence. The EPP Group is the only Group in the European Parliament which has a long-standing dialogue with monotheistic religions such as Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Islam and the Jewish faiths.

In contemporary European and global politics, there are numerous problems that can only be solved by broad social cooperation. The financial crisis, the ever-increasing social tensions and issues related to migration are all global challenges that we are faced with today. It is important for the EPP Group to have knowledge about the thoughts and activities of various religious organisations relating to these issues.Freedom of religion is a basic right. Whether it is speaking against mass persecution of Christians in countries of the Arab Spring, or about helping the increasing numbers of Islamic communities relocating to Europe find their place in the scheme of European principles and values, the EPP Group believes that it is its duty to defend the right to freedom of religion, to openly discuss these issues, bring them closer to the public eye and into the mainstream of European debates. We can only live up to this enormous challenge if we seek opportunities for dialogue and cooperation with the religious communities involved.

The tradition of dialogues started in April 1996 in Constantinople (Istanbul) with HH the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. The fundamental aim of this dialogue, which is to date also enshrined as a legal basis of Article17 of the Lisbon Treaty, is a common responsibility for Europe. Clause 3 of this Article reads:

"3. Recognising their identity and their specific contribution, the Union shall maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with these churches and organisations."

Consequently, both politics and churches need to continuously adapt and refine their actions in order to respond to new challenges.



Our activities

Through our activities, we build upon a long tradition and commitment to dialogue with churches and religious organisations. Several hundred people, including Members of the European Parliament, religious leaders, government representatives, invited guests and the interested public participate every year at our conferences on religious dialogue. These annual conferences are high-level two-day events that take place once a year outside Brussels and discuss current issues pertinent to intercultural dialogue and the dialogue between religion and politics.

Contacts with highly-respected experts from churches are continuously widened through other public and internal meetings. We organise public hearings on current affairs that fall within the scope of religious dialogue. We also hold internal meetings of the EPP Group Working Group on Intercultural Dialogue where we discuss issues with ecclesiastical leaders and religious experts from around Europe and beyond.





Maia Sandu
21.10.2016 - 10:32

Moldova: only one candidate can secure pro-European path

The EPP Group today urged all Moldovan pro-European political parties to put forward a common candidate for the upcoming presidential elections on 30...
The political consequences of Brexit
21.10.2016 - 10:00

The political consequences of Brexit

British voters decided to exit the EU in a referendum earlier this year, the so-called ‘Brexit’. The UK government has said that it plans...
20.10.2016 - 12:13

Removing obstacles to the freedom of movement

Freedom of movement is a fundamental right for EU citizens, that allows them to travel, live and work in other EU countries. It is one of the...
Fight past and current populist and anti-Western threats with concrete action
20.10.2016 - 10:00

Fight past and current populist and anti-Western threats with concrete action

Populism, xenophobia and anti-Westernism are past and current threats to Europe that must be countered with concrete action, said the EPP Group...

Highlights of the week

24.10.2016 - 28.10.2016
European Flag

EU Summit results

On Wednesday, MEPs will debate on the results of the European Summit of 20-21 October. Manfred Weber MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group, has called on EU...
Mustafa Dzhemilev

Sakharov Prize: EPP Group backs Crimean Tatars leader Dzhemilev

On Thursday 27 October, the Conference of Presidents will annouce the winner of this year's Sakharov Prize. The EPP Group backs Crimean Tatars...
Tribute to victims in Paris

Paris attacks: one year on

Almost a year has passed since the Paris attacks and January 2017 will mark two years since the attacks on Charlie Hebdo. During a debate on Tuesday...