Press Release


Pope Benedict XVI receives EPP-ED Group in the Vatican. Hans-Gert Poettering MEP


On the occasion of the EPP-ED Study Days in Rome, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI received the Members of the EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament in an audience today.

The Chairman of the Group, Hans-Gert Poettering, underlined in his speech during the audience that the Group put the dignity of the human being in its transcendent dimension at the very heart of its work.

The Group had fought for a reference to God in the European Constitution, said Poettering in his speech. "Although we were not successful, the final text does embody essential Christian values. The EPP-ED Group, as an advocate of Judaeo-Christian values, is determined about the spiritual and moral dimension of the European project. Hope and optimism are the basis of our work and activities in face of the challenges Europe is confronted with today", said Poettering.

The EPP-ED Group unites different religions and confessions. The Group holds a regular dialogue with the orthodox church and, through initiatives with states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the Group aims for new relationships.

"Faced with the debate on a 'clash of civilisations', the Group conducts its work in the belief that cooperation, understanding and partnership are the basis for relationships between different cultures and religions", concluded Poettering.

Full speech of Hans-Gert Poettering

Further information:
Katrin Ruhrmann
Tel: +32 475 493357