A meeting between military Bishops and EU military officials to “enhance the cooperation towards a shared strategic culture across Europe” organised by the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) took place in Brussels on 8 April. A dozen bishops participated in this exchange on “their respective military realities and on the EU’s response to current geopolitical and security challenges”, a statement from COMECE explained. Faced with a “loss of trust in multilateral mechanisms and an expansion of conflict environments, accompanied by an omnipresence of digital technologies, Church representatives encourage the EU to strategically focus its policies on longstanding human security and sustainable peace”.
In dialogue with General Claudio Graziano, Chairman of the EU Military Committee, the Bishops highlighted the “need for pursuing an integrated approach by better articulating military measures with civilian peace-building instruments promoting human, socio-economic and ecological development”. “Religious actors can provide an important contribution” in this regard since they are deeply rooted in local realities. As stated in a recent COMECE document (“Whose security? Whose defence?”), “security is essential because it protects human life and dignity”, “through sustainable peace”.