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COMECE: Legal Affairs Commission, Article 17 and fundamental rights in the spotlight

(Brussels) A meeting between the Legal Affairs Commission of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) and the European Commission’s coordinator for dialogue with churches, religious associations and communities, Vincent Depaigne, was recently held at the COMECE Secretariat. The goal was to discuss “the need for the EU and its Member States to better promote and protect fundamental rights” and to assess the implementation of Article 17 of the Treaty of Lisbon. According to a press release, discussion focused on “current and future challenges concerning fundamental rights”, particularly “the risks entailed by the disconnection between the different European jurisdictions, and to the potential side effects of some case law on the must vulnerable (with regard to freedom of religion, as well as to other fundamental rights inside the EU, e.g. the right to education)”. Discussion also focused on “EU State aid cases, mainly concerning taxation and economic implications of Churches’ educational activities”, and on the General Data Protection Regulation, whose implementation generates “concerns”. The COMECE Legal Affairs Commission is chaired by Bishop Theodorus C.M. Hoogenboom (Auxiliary Bishop of Utrecht, The Netherlands); its members are legal experts nominated by the EU Bishops’ Conferences.

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