Presentation

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Among the members of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) are 33 Bishops’ Conferences and the Archbishops of Luxembourg, of the Principality of Monaco, the Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus, the Bishop of Chişinău (Moldova), the Eparchial Bishop of Mukachevo and the Apostolic Administrator of Estonia. There are 39 members of CCEE, spread over a territory comprising 45 nations.

CCEE is charied by a President and two Vice Presidents elected for a renewable five-year mandate. The Secretariat is led by a Secretary General chosen by the CCEE Plenary Assembly for a renewable five-year mandate, and by a Vice Secretary General nominated by the Presidency. The Secretariat is based in St. Gallen (Switzerland).

History

At the end of the Second Vatican Council, thirteen Presidents of European Bishops’ Conferences decided to examine the possibility of collaboration. After a series of meetings, in March 1971 CCEE was officially founded and recognized by the Congregation for Bishops. In 1995 its current Statutes, where it is stated explicitly that the members of CCEE are the European Bishops’ Conferences, represented by their respective Presidents, were approved. The Statutes also envisage the possibility that Bishops who are not members of a Bishops’ Conference may also be members of CCEE as of right. In the course of its more than forty-year history, CCEE has held a number of meetings, including eight Symposia of European Bishops and numerous meetings on issues of major pastoral importance in Europe.

Aims

The nature and aims of CCEE are defined by the Statutes (art.1) approved by Saint John Paul II on 2 December 1995: "The Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) is an organ of communion between the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe which has as its end the promotion and conservation of the good of the Church".

Among the aims of CCEE of particular note are: 
the exercise of collegiality in hierarchical communion cum et sub romano pontefice;
the realization of closer communication and co-operation between the European Bishops and Episcopal Conferences, respectful of the function and proper jurisdiction of each, to promote and inspire the new evangelization in the European arena; 
the promotion of communion with the Councils of Bishops' Conferences of other continents; 
the support of ecumenical collaboration in Europe, to re-establish Christian unity;
 a living ecclesial witness in European society.