EU office Brussels
Brussels Office of the Representative of the Council
In 1990, the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD) established a liaison-office at the seat of the EU institutions. Since May 2008, Senior Church Counsel Katrin Hatzinger has been the head of the "Brussels Office". The office reports to the Representative of the Council of EKD, who is the director of the diplomatic service of the Church with his seat in Berlin.
Brussels staff monitor EC legislative proceedings and represent the interests and positions of the Church vis-à-vis the Institutions. Their work focuses on political issues like the reform of the treaties or the relations between the EU and religious communities and organisations, for example the dialogue under art. 17 TFEU, but also on themes the church feels are relevant to their public mission, i.e. ethics and the protection of human dignity. These can be relevant in several policy areas like the European asylum and migration policy, the orientation of European research policy, the primacy of civilian aspects in conflict resolution, foreign, security and development policies, and the enhancement of religious freedom and fundamental rights within the EU and in its external relations, including EU enlargement. Contributions to consulations and public statements are among the instruments EKD employs in its advocacy work.
The Brussels office is also an information agency for EKD, its member churches and church-based institutions and organisations. Every other month, the newsletter "Europa-Informationen" is published. It reports, from a church perspective, on current political developments and informs about funding opportunities in the social and cultural sector. The EKD House in the centre of the European quarter in Brussels frequently hosts visitor groups, giving presentations on the EU and the self-conception and mission of the churches in their political work. Seminars, public events and debates, some of them in cooperation with other Christian organisations or political foundations, complete the political work and highlight Protestant positions.