At Caritas Europa’s annual Regional Conference on 23 May in Rome, the network’s 49 members from 46 European countries reiterated their call to state leaders to put people at the centre of all policies, ensuring that human dignity and the protection of fundamental human rights are priorities for future political and economic decisions.
“We want a social Europe that leaves no one behind, that is inclusive and welcoming and that champions global solidarity,” stressed Caritas Europa’s statement.
In the last few years, the Caritas Europa network has witnessed – with increasing concern – global trends resulting in social, economic, and political polarisation. Heightened mistrust of institutions, raising fears across society, and practices that contribute to exclusion and inequalities have a devastating impact on people’s lives.
“We urge European leaders to take their full responsibility in putting an end to these trends and Caritas commits to do its part. We want an inclusive Europe where people in poverty and social exclusion are taken into account with robust policies that not only protect them but help them thrive and contribute to the common good. We want a welcoming Europe where migrants and receiving communities work together. We believe this collaboration should be rooted in the recognition of the contributions of migrants and receiving communities to society. We want a Europe that champions global solidarity by living up to its development aid commitments; a Europe where development policies are geared towards the eradication of poverty; a Europe that prioritises the communities that are the furthest behind,” the statement points out.
The participants of the Regional Conference recognised that the Council of Europe has a fundamental role in safeguarding human rights across Europe, and needs to be proactive on Member States’ compliance with their obligations.
Just a few days ahead of the elections for the new Members of European Parliament, which will have an important impact on policies and budget related to fundamental rights, social policies as well as development and humanitarian assistance, Caritas Europa urges citizens to take on their responsibility for the future of Europe.
“Inspiring hope is essential for the European Caritas network. More than ever since the creation of the Council of Europe and the European Union, we need to believe in, and actively commit to, the values of democracy, sustainability, equality, social justice, and solidarity throughout the world. Caritas will continue listening to and working with people in need to achieve structural change and to promote human dignity”, said Caritas Europa’s new Secretary General, Maria Nyman.
Finally, the participants expressed their deep gratitude to the outgoing General Secretary, Jorge Nuño Mayer, and recognized his many achievements in the role.