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On May 3, 2017, the Committee of Representatives of Orthodox Churches to the European Union (CROCEU) met at the Patriarchate of Constantinople representation to the European Union, Brussels, Belgium. The committee was set up in March 2010 to promote cooperation and coordination of actions by representatives of Orthodox Churches in their cooperation with European organizations, in particular, the European Union.

The meeting was attended by representatives of Local Orthodox Churches to the European international organizations, including Metropolitan Athanasios of Achaia (Greek Orthodox Church), Bishop Porfyrios of Neapolis (Orthodox Church of Cyprus), Archimandrite Aimilianos Bogiannou (Patriarchate of Constantinople), Hegumen Philip (Riabykh) (Moscow Patriarchate), Archpriest Sorin Selaru (Patriarchate of Romania), and Hieromonk Nektarios Ioannou (Orthodox Church of Cyprus).

Before beginning their work, the committee welcomed Father Philip (Riabykh), new acting representative of the Russian Orthodox Church to the European organizations. They extended congratulations to him on his appointment to the important post and noted that participation of a representative of the Russian Orthodox Church in the CROCEU work is an important factor of the committee’s effective work.

The meeting began with a report by Archimandrite Aimilianos and Hegumen Philip on the meetings of the CROCEU representatives with high-ranking persons from the European parliament, including the vice-president of the European parliament Ms. Mairead MacGuinness, and Mr Jan Ilbricht, co-chairman of the European People’s Party service of interreligious dialogue and intercultural work. The report was followed by a discussion on the results of the conference ‘Religion and EU External Actions’, which took place on April 26. The committee approved the results of the meetings and agreed to continue joint contacts and cooperation with representatives of the European parliament.

Archpriest Sorin Selaru informed the meeting about a possibility for the committee’s participation in the discussion on the new version of the EU directive on the regulation of the work of audiovisual mass media.

Father Philip (Riabykh) made a report about the monitoring, carried with the support of the ROC Strasburg representation, of the violations of rights of Orthodox Christians in Europe and presented the 2016 annual report.

The participants in the meeting also discussed a possibility for the committee to hold their annual extended meeting in the Russian Orthodox Church in the second part of the year 2017.

DECR Communication Service