Dalai Lama to Represent Buddhism at EC Interfaith Meeting

By Kalsang Rinchen, Phayul, May 29, 2006

Dharamshala, India -- The Dalai Lama will represent Buddhism at an interfaith discussion in Brussels tomorrow. Representatives from various faiths will meet in Brussels to participate in a discussion on 'fundamental rights and mutual respect'.

Federal Chancellor Schussel, the President in office of the European Council, and Commission President Barroso will interact with leading representatives of world faiths during the discussion that is scheduled for three hours.
The discussion will centre on the issue of the contribution that the faith communities can make in a common Europe. The meeting will take place in the European Commission (Berlaymont).

The Dalai Lama will also attend a Press briefing with Chancellor Schussel, President Barroso and representatives of the faith communities before the discussion.

Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, will represent the Anglican Church.

Anas Shakfeh, President of the Islamic Community in Austria, Imam Abduljalil Sajid, Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony and Ayatollah Seyyed Abbas Ghaemmaghami, Head of the Islamic Centre in Hamburg, will represent Islam.

Chief Rabbi of France Joseph Sitruk, Chief Rabbi of Brussels Albert Guigui and Rene Gutman, Chief Rabbi of Strasbourg et du Bas-Rhin will represent Judaism.

His Eminence, Emmanuel, Metropolit of France and Bishop Athanasios of Achaia will represent Orthodox Church.

Jean Arnold de Clermont, President of the Conference of European Churches, and Bishop Wolfgang Huber, Chairman of the Council of the EKD, will represent Protestant Church.

Jose Cardinal da Cruz Policarpo, Patriarch of Lisbon, Christoph Cardinal Schonborn, Archbishop of Vienna, and Adrianus van Luyn, President of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community will represent Roman Catholic Church.

Participants from the European Commission are Franco Frattini, Vice-President of the Commission and Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security, Margot Wallstrom, Vice-President of the Commission and Commissioner for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy, Jan Figel', Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Multilingualism, and Vladimir ?pidla, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.