Karlsruhe, Germany, where the 11th Assembly of the WCC will take place in 2022, Photo: Xanthi Morfi/WCC

Karlsruhe, Germany, where the 11th Assembly of the WCC will take place in 2022, Photo: Xanthi Morfi/WCC

The chairs of the German Bishops’ Conference and the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany released on 22 June a statement on Germany’s Council presidency.

On 1 July Germany will take over the presidency of the Council of the European Union.

“God keeps God’s promises to us human beings,” the statement reads. “And God gives us the strength to contribute our part to a successful outcome.”

The statement emphasizes the importance of not losing sight of the most vulnerable in society or of stewardship of creation. "We therefore call on German politics, in the context of Germany’s Council presidency in 2020 and beyond, to shape the future of our common European home with responsibility for European cohesion,” reads the statement. “After all, only a united Europe can overcome the societal, economic and social consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.”

No one is gaining from national attempts to go it alone, egotism and reciprocal blame games, the statement continues. “Instead, the concern must be to tackle the great challenges in a spirit of European solidarity.”

Germany has an opportunity to play a leading role, the statement continues. “The main focus of the presidency will be on combating the economic crisis in Europe,” reads the statement. “In this context we should resolutely pursue the course already embarked upon towards a climate-neutral society, preserve biodiversity and protect the environment.”

The statement also calls for job creation and security of work. “In the context of a comprehensive European migration policy, there is also a need for legal, fair and transparent opportunities to enter the EU for vocational and university training and to take up work, the statement reads. “The EU is founded on the understanding that it is a community of law, guaranteeing democratic participation and the principles of the rule of law in a pluralist society.”

Even though the United Kingdom officially left the EU at the beginning of this year, the two sides should strive for a close partnership, urged the statement. “In these difficult times, European integration urgently needs new momentum,” reads the text.

Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD)

Conference of European Churches (CEC)