ZAGREB, January 20, 2020 – European bishops met with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković in Zagreb on Monday, underscoring the importance of the European Union in promoting and protecting the right to religious freedom, the government said in a press release.
Croatia is currently presiding over the Council of the European Union and in that context, Prime Minister Plenković met with representatives of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community, headed by the Archbishop of Luxembourg, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, and representatives of the Conference of European Churches, headed by pastor Christian Krieger.
After they were informed of the priorities of Croatia’s EU presidency, the bishops underlined the significance and role of the European Union in promoting and protecting the right to religious freedom and confession within their borders as well as in relations with third countries.
As reported in the press release, the interlocutors discussed various topics about Europe, from demography and digitisation to migration and ecology.
The importance of inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue was especially highlighted as was cooperation with religious communities.
Considering that half of EU’s member states, including Croatia, have a negative population growth, Plenković spoke about Croatia’s efforts to strengthen demographic revival and the status of the family at the European level during its presidency, and recalled that demography was included in the EU’s strategic programme for the next five years at Croatia’s insistence.
The meeting between the prime minister and the religious dignitaries was also attended by the President of the Conference of Croatian Bishops, Zadar Archbishop Želimir Puljić, Zagreb Archbishop Cardinal Josip Bozanić and Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković.
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