Since the 12th General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) in Trondheim 2003, CCME is in the process of integration with CEC for the benefit of both organizations and their respective mission.
The aim of the integration is to strengthen the churches’ common witness and service on the important issues of migration today. This has over time taken different expressions.
In the years following the Trondheim assembly , a number of decisions were taken by both organisations to allow for CCME to become a commission of CEC, along with a CEC commission on Church and Society and a CEC commission on Churches in dialogue.
At simultaneous meetings in Cyprus in October 2008, the CCME Assembly voted to amend its own legal documents so that CCME would become a Commission of CEC; and CEC Central Committee voted to amend its own legal documents, as well as its own staffing plan in order to recognize CCME as a Commission of CEC.
Both the CEC Central Committee and the CCME Assembly in Cyprus endorsed the concept that the integrated CEC/CCME should, as an early sign of their integration invite the churches of Europe to designate the year 2010 as the Year of Migration. This year was one in which member churches and organisations actively promoted issues surrounding migration.
However, in 2009, the Assembly of the Conference of European Churches decided to completely review the constitution and structure of CEC. The CEC assembly in 2013 opted for a different structure not foreseeing Commissions as working instruments. The CEC assembly included migration and asylum work as well work on diaspora and ´migrant churches´under the thematic areas of work and objectives of the new CEC.
After 2013, CCME and CEC discussed how both organizations could pursue structural integration against the background of changed CEC structures. A number of newly emerged issues could not be resolved (e.g. membership, decision-making, financing of migration work inside CEC) but both organisations agreed to further enhance cooperation.
During the last years, CEC and CCME have strengthened their collaboration and increased working relationships on issues of common interest. In November 2017, CEC and CCME signed a new agreement of cooperation for the period 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2024. The agreement outlines that CCME will work on the issues in its mandate also for CEC and its member churches while CEC financially compensates CCME for this work. The agreement also allows for strong information sharing and harmonisation of the work while keeping separate structures for work.
CCME and CEC agreed for an evaluation of this agreement by their respective assemblies (with both assemblies taking place at the same time in the immediate vicinity) in 2023 for further steps.