Pope Francis to pay official visit to the European Parliament
Pope Francis will pay an official visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday 25 November. He will deliver a formal address to the Members in in the Chamber.
The Pope was invited by President Schulz, on behalf of the European Parliament, when he paid an official visit to the Vatican on 11 October 2013. This is the first visit to the Parliament by a sovereign pontiff in 26 years. Last time was in 1988, when Pope Jean Paul II delivered an address to Parliament, just one year before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
"We are very honoured and proud to receive Pope Francis in the European Parliament. Through his speech to the European Parliament he will have the opportunity to address the millions of citizens represented by our Members," President Schulz said ahead of the visit.
"I look forward to his opinion on shared concerns such as the economic crisis, the fight against poverty, immigration policy and several other matters where a solution needs a stronger and more dynamic European Union", he added.
The Pope will arrive at the European Parliament in Strasbourg at around 10.30 and be received by President Schulz in front of the main entrance, with a welcoming ceremony comprising the two anthems and a flag raising ceremony. After the ceremony, President Schulz will introduce the Pope to the members of the Bureau and Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament. At 11.15, Pope Francis will deliver his speech to the Members of the Parliament. After visiting Parliament, the Pope will visit the Council of Europe.
The European Parliament is the only directly-elected EU body and one of the largest democratic assemblies in the world. Its 751 Members represent the EU's 500 million citizens. They are elected once every five years by voters from across the 28 Member States.
Technical information for the press
Special accreditation and security measures will be applied for the visit. Only journalists with confirmed accreditation will have access to Parliament. The visit will be web-streamed and transmitted on EbS