EHF and EU Presidents
Since 2010, the EHF is invited to an annual summit with the Presidents of the Commission, Parliament and Council to share its views on European topics of common interest. The churches' representatives are invited to a similar but separate meeting.
Before 2010, the EU used to organise the same top-level consultation with representatives of various religions at the exclusion of organisations representing non-religious lifestances.
2013 : Summit on citizens at the heart of the European project
On 5 Nov. 2013, EHF President Pierre Galand met with Presidents of the Commission, Council and Parliament and other non-confessional organisations and addressed the issue of the rise of populism in Europe. He made several recommendations to the attention of EU institutions.
EHF Press release
2012 : Summit on intergenerational solidarity
On 27 Nov. 2012, new EHF President Pierre Galand took part to the annual meeting with presidents of the Commission, Council and Parliament and other non-confessionnal organisations.
The combined effect of longer life expectancy and economic and social crisis is putting a lot of pressure on many generations in Europe. The EHF stressed that women contribute a lot more than men to all forms of active solidarity without due recognition. In EHF’s view, solidarity must be regarded as a policy rather than charity. Such policy could be guided by 3 principles: general approach (covering fields like work, housing, mobility, care, etc.), universality (all generations must be involved) and reciprocity (exchange between generations). To which non-confessional organization would like to add liberty as a guiding principle, understood as freedom of choice – to take part or not to such initiatives, to work or not after retirement, to terminate one’s life in a dignified manner.
2011 : Summit on the role of the EU as a partnership for democracy and shared prosperity
Alongside discourses on democracy, the economic crisis and the necessity to sauvegard EU fundamental values, EHF President David Pollock took advantage of this meeting to expose the dissatisfaction of the humanist and secularist movement with the way the Commission is implementing the dialogue under Article 17.
2010 : Summit on poverty and social exclusion
The meeting was on the EU’s theme for 2010 – poverty and social exclusion. EHF insisted on the need to build a Europe of citizens more democratic and solidar and to solve the issue of the extreme inequality of incomes within the EU.
2009 : EHF protests at exclusion from top-level meeting
For the fifth year running, the EU organised a top-level consultation with representatives of various religions but has excluded organisations representing non-religious lifestances. In 2007 and 2008 and 2009, the EHF asked to be invited and was either ignored or rebuffed. EHF takes the view that there should be no discrimination on grounds of religion or belief in such invitations. This is all the more true than these meetings focus on secular policies and not religious matters.
2008 : EHF excluded from top-level meeting on climate change and intercultural dialogue
When we ascertained in early April 2008 that there was to be another high level meeting between the three EU Presidents – of the Commission, the Council and the Parliament – to discuss climate change and intercultural dialogue, we asked for an invitation so as to be able to represent the huge non-religious population of Europe. We were refused.
2007 : EHF Letter to President Barroso on parity of treatment with Churches
The President of the EHF wrote to President Barroso on 27 February 2007 seeking parity of treatment with the churches.