At the beginning of December, eight European networks dealing with religion and education in formal and non-formal settings met in Vienna. In addition to the representatives of CoGREE member organisations (see article ‘Future of CoGREE in the centre of annual conference’), Walter Lüssi for OIKOSNET Europe and Heike Witzel for EAEE were also present. It was the second meeting of this group, which also includes other interested networks. Following the kick-off in December 2022 in Münster, Germany, the aim in Vienna was to further explore the form and potential of this collaboration. All participants emphasised the importance of this networking across education sectors and the will to continue working together under the provisional title ‘EDU network’.

Apart from these general debates, the meeting in wintry Vienna focussed on exchanges with the Protestant Churches in Europe. The group met with Pastor Dr Mario Fischer, General Secretary of the Communion of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE), which represents 95 churches that signed the Leuenberg Agreement (1973).

The intensive exchange of opinions and information brought both sides closer together and it was agreed that representatives of the EDU network would be welcomed as observers at the 2024 General Assembly of CPCE in Sibiu (Romania). It was also agreed to work more closely together on issues of religious education in the future. In addition, the issue of representation of interests and participation in the work of the Council of Europe was also a key topic. The CPCE had successfully applied for the status as an international NGO there this year.

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