Eurodiaconia calls for a Europe that fosters hope by providing opportunities for inclusion and community for everyone and listening to those often unheard by the majority.
The 2022 Eurodiaconia Annual General Meeting was held in Bruxelles, Belgium, from May 11th to the 13th. It was attended by nearly 60 participants representing churches and social services from 32 countries and territories. This year’s Annual General Meeting theme was “Diaconia at the Heart of Europe”. The three-day event has provided an invaluable opportunity for our members to reflect on their firm belief in common European actions and their collective efforts to address the growing social disparities, deprivations, and isolation many faces.
For over two years, diaconal organisations across Europe have been at the forefront of the many crises that shook our continent overnight. First, the COVID19 pandemic put a heavy burden on our well-being and health, increasing isolation and loneliness and disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable parts of society. Moreover, the war in Ukraine is having a severe impact on our entire continent. It is causing massive suffering for the people in Ukraine while increasing feelings of uncertainty and insecurity across Europe. Our members are the centre stage in supporting refugees from Ukraine and intervening where governments lack capacity.
This year’s Annual General Meeting has been the prime opportunity to reflect on the potential to extend the hand of solidarity, compassion and welcome even in these trying times. As diaconal actors, Eurodiaconia members have the unique opportunity to promote unity and mutual understanding across our continent. In a time of division, we can find opportunities as Diaconia to bring harmony while defending the interests of those at the margins of our society.
Therefore, Eurodiaconia and its members call on national governments and the European institutions to resist financial, economic, and ideological pressures that leave a large part of the population at risk of precarious situations. We call on all European people to foster hope and belief in a Europe that provides and cares for its people, especially those who might face exclusion and are often left ignored and voiceless. For our part, we promise to continue our diaconal work based on the Christian faith that stands on the pillars of solidarity, care, and love for our neighbour.
Please find here the full declaration.
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