EU Leaders Call on Religions to Help Shape Common Values

May 15, 2007

Source: EUX.TV

Brussels (dpa) - European Union leaders on Tuesday called on religious communities to help shape common European values and vowed to make tolerance the basis for a dialogue between cultures.

"Intolerance cannot be tolerated," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a statement at an all-religion conference in Brussels. Germany currently holds the rotating presidency of the 27-member EU.

EU and religious leaders also discussed how to promote the bloc's common values beyond Europe's borders.

Referring to communism and Nazism in Europe's history, Merkel said that the EU had "a particular responsibility to foster tolerance and help others to be tolerant."

Following a meeting with 21 leading representatives of the Christian, Jewish and Islamic faiths in Europe, European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering called for an ongoing dialogue between the EU's institutions and the churches and religious communities.