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The 2024 Spring Assembly of the EU Bishops in Łomża, Poland (COMECE via Catholic Herald)

Europe’s bishops have voiced support for the European Union’s future enlargement plans, saying it provides a unique opportunity to showcase the value of fraternity, but have also cautioned against the imposition of ideology and the pursuit of particular interests. Source: Crux.

In a statement issued during their April 17-19 spring plenary assembly in Łomża, Poland, the Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) praised European integration as a process aimed at guaranteeing “peace, freedom, democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and prosperity”.

It is a process, they said, that is “based also on Christian values, like the recognition of the dignity of the human person, subsidiarity, solidarity and the pursuit of the common good”.

The bishops recalled the EU’s significant enlargement process in May 2004, when it added 10 new member states, marking what the bishops said “was the realisation of a united Europe that could ‘breathe with its two lungs,’” bringing Eastern and Western Europe together into one community of different peoples, but sharing a common history.

According to COMECE, a larger union has also brought new challenges with it, with a political and economic integration accompanied by what can often be a “questionable” dialogue among various nationalities, cultures and historical experiences.

They said accession to the EU is “a two-way process,” and that countries desiring EU membership must continue making structural reforms in crucial areas such as “the rule of law, strengthening of democratic institutions, fundamental rights, including religious freedom and freedom of the media, as well as fight against corruption, tackling organised crime”.


European bishops back EU enlargement, but warn against ideology, ‘narrow visions’ (By Elise Ann Allen, Crux)