crossroadsI read a news item today that reported on a meeting in the European Commission where European Commissioners were asked “Looking ahead, how do you see the European project evolving over the next 10 years? What are the drivers behind this change?” A big question! There are many answers of course and many of them will depend on the perspective of the person or organisation answering the question – but is there a collective answer?  I think there is. Across our Eurodiaconia network we are hearing more and more of our members speak of social justice, often achieved through innovative social services and advocacy. I think we could then see that the driver for the future of Europe should be the claim for social justice and the change should be ensuring all people live in dignity. This is a familiar call from Eurodiaconia. But I was quite rightly reminded today by one of our Board members that what we see as drivers for social justice in Europe is markedly different from the drivers for social justice globally, particularly in the global south where extreme poverty, non-existence of social protection and other issues are prevalent. Although the drivers may be different, the goal remains the same – access and opportunity for all with a fair distribution of resources – social justice.

Last Sunday was the international day for Social Justice and Eurodiaconia joined the global call for recognition that everyone has the right to such justice.  As the European Union looks to its future, social justice must be at the heart of its evolution, not just for the countries of the European Union but for those in its neighbourhood and beyond. The EU may need to identify the drivers for change but could and should also identify itself as the driver for change.  There is huge opportunity for the EU to put social priorities front and centre – across Eurodiaconia our members will continue to ask our representatives and governments to do so.

Have a good weekend,