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Tuesday, May 17, 2005


VATICAN CITY, MAY 17, 2005 (VIS) - Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary for Relations with States, participated in the third Summit of Heads of State and Governments of the Council of Europe, which is being held May 16-17 in Warsaw, Poland.

   In his address in English, the head of the Holy See delegation underscored the theme of the session, European unity and European values, affirming that "Europe will be loved by its citizens and will serve as an agent of peace and civilization in the world only if it is animated by certain fundamental values: the promotion of human dignity and fundamental human rights, ... in the first place freedom of conscience and religion; the pursuit of the common good in a spirit of solidarity; and respect for national and cultural identity."

  "The pre-eminent role that Christianity has played in forming and developing this cultural, religious and humanistic patrimony is well known to all and cannot be ignored."

   Archbishop Lajolo indicated how the challenges that European society must face "derive from the great world-wide problems handed down from the twentieth century: the nuclear threat, ... the emergence of forms of political and religious fundamentalism, large-scale migration of peoples and certain situations of dangerous instability," such as those "in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in the Kosovo region, both of which are in need of a reliable solution, which cannot be reached without providing effective guarantees for minorities."

  The secretary for Relations with States also highlighted the need for "a better coordination of European organizations," and indicated that "the experience of the Council of Europe is particularly important because it sketches the outlines of what could become a blueprint for European society."

  He concluded: "Regarding the European Union, it is in the juridical sector in relation to human rights that one finds further concrete possibilities for closer institutional cooperation. The common commitment to corroborate the human rights and the legal protection of European citizens - reaffirmed by the will of the European Union to adhere to the European Convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental liberties - must be given adequate expression in the propositions to be presented by the Coordination Group created in December 2004."
DELSS/EUROPE/WARSAW:LAJOLO                    VIS 20050517 (380)

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