press

Interview with Dr. Danuta Hübner, EU Commissioner for Poland

October 17, 2006


 

Hbner.

Hbner.

Thank you for taking your time to be here.

I will be focusing on where we are as the European Union, why we have a wave of pessimists, and why support for the EU has waned over the last years.

Where does the church fit into all of this?

I think what we should do now in Europe is to contribute to a European dialogue between the elites and the local people on deciding on the future of Europe. I also see the responsibility of churches in launching the dialogue of the future of Europe, and that’s why I accepted this invitation to speak. In this dialogue, we need the church.

I think the natural characteristic of the church and of pastors in general is to remain in close contact with the people. That is why I believe it is the responsibility of the church as well as it is the responsibility of politicians to help overcome the distance that exists between Europe and its citizens today.

I believe part of the role of a pastor is to be close to the local people. To put it simply, just as it is the responsibility of the politicians who are in the place of social structures to listen to their citizens, so I believe there is a responsibility for those who work closely with local people to understand where we are as a community.

I’ve traditionally had many meeting with representatives from protestant churches in Poland over the years.

What do you believe is the value of holding such a meeting in Poland, especially at this particular time in history?

I value this kind of meeting because it shows that religion and life are intertwined.

I am a strong believer in people meeting and talking, and I think that you can understand other people if only you take the chance to talk with them. Half the problem is solved if there is understanding. If you remain understanding, you are also tolerant and responsible, because problems only begin when people are not willing to talk.

 

Born in Nisko, Poland, Dr. ü is the first Polish Commissioner to the European Union and one of the country’s foremost economists and policymakers. In 2000-2001, she served as the UN Under Secretary General and Executive Secretary at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in Geneva.

Dr. ü studied at the Warsaw School of Economics where she gained an MSC and PHD.