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Building peace through interreligious dialogue


19 Oct 2016



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 week (20-21 October).

“This year’s annual conference is taking place at a very significant and challenging time. In consideration of current conflicts in the Middle East and the challenges of migration at European and global level, we will focus on peace creation, security and the role of interreligious dialogue. We will hear first-hand accounts from conflict-hit zones from local leaders and seek solutions with the participation of European officials engaged in international development and humanitarian action. Even if a conference like this cannot create peace in itself, I very much believe that such a dialogue of leaders from various institutions can facilitate the process of rebuilding stability”, György Hölvényi MEP said.

MEPs Hölvényi and Jan Olbrycht, as Co-Chairmen of the EPP Group's Working Group on Intercultural Relations and Interreligious Dialogue, will host panels on future challenges and strengthening EU external aid effectiveness with contributions from policy-makers and religious leaders.

"Dialogue with representatives of different religions enables us to improve the understanding of the cultural and religious traditions both in Europe and in our neighbouring regions. Based on that, we are working towards constructive cooperation in order to face today’s challenges. They include, but are not limited to, social integration, especially in response to the ongoing migration and refugee crisis, and the protection of religious and ethnic minorities in Europe’s neighbourhood and beyond”, Olbrycht added.

Key speakers include Antonio Tajani MEP, First Vice-President of the European Parliament responsible for Intercultural Dialogue, and Françoise Grossetête MEP, Vice-Chairwoman of the EPP Group. Elisabetta Gardini MEP, Head of the Italian (FI) Delegation of the EPP Group, and Lorenzo Cesa MEP, Head of the Italian (UDC-NCD-SVP) Delegation of the EPP Group, will co-chair a discussion on the Euro-Asiatic area and North Africa. A wide range of high-level experts from Syria, Lebanon and Egypt will also participate.