The EUROPEAN FORUM OF NATIONAL LAITY COMMITTEES (ELF) is an organisation aiming at promoting regular contacts between the national committees or councils of the Catholic laity in Europe.

To achieve that aim, the Forum intends to facilitate the exchange of experiences and information between its members on questions of European importance, especially concerning the problems of the mission of the Church in the world and its pastoral work. The ELF organises study meetings every two years in one of the member countries, dealing with pastoral and socio-political topics together with experts invited to share their expertise on specific questions.

Steering Committee members, from left: Pavol Kossey, Lillian Kristensen, John Mossop (Treasurer), Josian Caproens (President), Alexandra Viana Lopes, John Smartt (Secretary), Camino Cañón Loyes.

The ELF keeps contact and wants to strengthen it with the European structures of bishops’ conferences (CCEE and COMECE) as well as with other organisations of the Catholic Church at European level (CCPE, UCESM and others), the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and churches and organisations of other Christian traditions and ecumenical movements.

The realization of the Gospel and its social ethics is an important task for a humane future of Europe. That’s why we, the Christian lay people, - in co-operation and shared responsibility with the priests and other ordained people – have and will have to play a growing role in our Church and in society.

Thus Pope John Paul II wrote in Christifideles laici in 1989: “It is necessary, then, to keep a watchful eye on this our world, with its problems and values, its unrest and hopes, its defeats and triumphs: a world whose economic, social, political and cultural affairs pose problems and grave difficulties in light of the description provided by the Council in the Pastoral Constitution, Gaudium et Spes (7). This, then, is the vineyard; this is the field in which the faithful are called to fulfil their mission. Jesus wants them, as he wants all his disciples, to be the "salt of the earth" and the "light of the world" (cf. Mt 5:13-14).

We are convinced that due to our frequent contacts we will be capable of offering proposals for solutions in our more and more globalised world.

We also wish to encourage other national lay committees by means of our joint activities to take up their responsibilities on the national level.

It’s by respecting the specialty of everyone, who is anchored in his/her culture, that we want to promote and make ours the European motto “unity in diversity”.

Peter Annegarn
Past President


The Statutory Assembly and the Presidents’ Council are the only decision-taking bodies. The Steering Committee, consisting of 7 members including the President, the Secretary, is the executive body (see Statutes).

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