CEC: European Churches launch new Economic and Employment Network


April 29th, 2010
Rev. Jürgen Klute MEP, Germany, Bishop László Tökés MEP, Romania, Mr Thomas Mann MEP, Germany, Dr. Jiri Silny, Director, Ecumenical Academy Prague, Czech Republic, H. E. Metropolite Prof Dr. Nifon of Targoviste, Romanian, Patrianne Degrand-Gurchate a

With a Conference in the European Parliament in Brussels the Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches (CSC of CEC) is launching today the new European Christian Employment and Economy Network ''CALL'': Church Action on Labour and Life.

With the economic downturn the need to address employment and social issues, also in the context of the European Union, has become more pressing. Right now the EU Member States are defining a new economic, social and ecological framework strategy for the next decade. At the same time, the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion 2010 seeks to highlight these realities in Europe. In an open letter to the Presidents of the European institutions, the European churches have recently stressed the need for a change in EU's economic and social policies: "The European churches understand this crisis as a call for change. Coming back to 'business as usual' will not solve it. To meet the challenges of the crisis it will be necessary to come to significant changes in the economic and social policies of the European Union and its Member States."

CALL will provide a platform to exchange views and experiences on economic questions in different parts of Europe and, thereby, to bridge gaps between European societies. CALL shall promote a Christian perspective in the European debates. Moreover, it will build the capacity of European churches to act on these issues, for instance by offering educational and information material and training.

The Conference is bringing together representatives of the European churches and of church-related organisations, experts on social and economic policies, Members of the European Parliament and representatives of the European Commission. Speakers at the Conference are, among others, H.E. Metropolite Prof. Dr. Nifon of Targoviste, Präses Alfred Buss, President of the Evangelical Church of Westphalia, Ms Anne Degrand-Guillaud, Coordinator of the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion in the European Commission and Professor Tim Jackson from the Centre for Environmental Strategy at the University of Surrey.

During the Conference the Jahrbuch Gerechtigkeit IV ("Yearbook Justice IV"), edited by a group of German Churches, shall be presented to the European public. The publication is focusing on justice in Central and Eastern Europe 20 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain.

The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a fellowship of some 120 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all countries of Europe, plus 40 associated organisations. CEC was founded in 1959. It has offices in Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg.
The Church and Society Commission of CEC links member churches and associated organisations of CEC with the European Union's institutions, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, NATO and the UN (on European matters). Its task is to help the churches study church and society questions from a theological and social-ethical perspective, especially those with a European dimension, and to represent common positions of the member churches in their relations with political institutions working in Europe.

The Conference of European Churches, Press Release, 29 April 2010

Please find the text on the following link, too - here!