Last week, ICCS-EM visited the headquarters of The Commission of the Bishop’s Conferences of the European Union known as COMECE in Brussels. COMECE is composed of the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of all Member States of the European Union and has been in dialogue with the European institutions, providing contributions that promote common good and a human-centred approach. ICCS-EM has had contact with COMECE for many years and has already done some activities together such as the 2018 World War I commemoration in the city of Ypres (Flanders)

Michael Van Craen, vice chair of the Euro-Mediterranean region and Fr Werner Fierens O.Praem, ICCS-EM’s representative at European Scout Interrelgious Forum and both part of the Scouts Association Scouts and Guides Flanders had a pleasant meeting with Emilio Dogliani, the staff officer for youth, culture and education at COMECE.

One of the topics discussed was establishing a sustainable cooperation between COMECE and ICCS-EM. The COMECE Youth Platform has been in existence since 2019: a place where different Catholic youth networks share their training and good practices and enable cooperation and synergy. With ICCS-EM, we want to contribute even more to this youth platform that collaborates with the COMECE youth net which advises EU bishops on youth policy. In this way, we can make the voice of Catholic scouts heard loudly all the way to the European institutions.

Other topics discussed were interreligious dialogue, peace education and, of course, scouting and youth work.

In response to the upcoming European elections, COMECE has developed a tool to help young Christians consciously vote for programmes and candidates that have the common good and well-being of people in mind, in short, those that are in line with the social teachings of the Church. Scouting is not a political organisation, but it does want to help young people and leaders of tomorrow to learn how to vote consciously and responsibly to help build a better world.

You can participate in the webinar “Being a Christian in politics and society” from COMECE on this topic on Thursday 14 March between 17:30 and 18:30 (CET). You can register via this link and don’t forget to keep an eye on the website of COMECE.