PRESS RELEASE No. 14/28
29 September 2014
4th CALL-Assembly in Rome, 22-24 September 2014
“Bridges between hope and reality – overcoming imbalances in Europe” was the theme of the 4th Assembly of the CALL-network, which was held in Rome from 22 to 24 September. 28 participants from 16 different European countries and even more different churches in Europe reflected on the growing economic imbalances, the impact on employment and labour market in Europe and how they could be addressed to improve matters. The CALL-network is part of the Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches and stands for “Church Action on Labour and Life”.
The participants received and discussed reports on the results of the working groups (WG) which were established or reinstalled by the 3rd CALL-Assembly two years ago: the WGs on 1) precarious work, 2) youth employment and 3) sustainable economy. The “CALL policy paper on good work”, which was finalised by the WG on precarious work, was adopted by the Assembly. It recommends the churches to commit to a common understanding of “good work time” and “decent work” and to advocate for these in European societies and in the EU.
Antonio Tricarico, an engineer, campaigner, analyst and editor, working for the NGO “Re: Common”, which is engaged in “building a world of resilient communities”, analysed the diverse causes for the economic and social crisis in Italy, which are more deep-rooted than in the financial crisis of 2008. He emphasised the need to rebuild a society through communities, which would be able to establish new forms of economy, social life and involvement. In Italy, for example, already 10% of food production is shared through informal economies and no longer by traditional markets. This philosophy and its impact on society became more apparent to the participants with visits and reports on several projects on employment and sustainable economy, which had been organised by churches in Italy.
The Assembly voted on a new structure and thematic area of the CALL-network for the coming years. It will hold an annual European conference on a thematic issue of labour and life which is of interest and concern for the churches in Europe. It will strengthen the debate among the churches and seek to influence European policy in the thematic area of CALL. The Call-network will also establish a work programme on “Intra-European work mobility”, its subsequent impact on persons involved and how churches can address this current phenomenon in Europe.
The Assembly concluded with a visit to FAO – the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in Rome – and a debate on policies against growing imbalances in food production from a global perspective.
For more information:
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Church and Society Commission aisbl
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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 national council of churches and organisations in partnership. CEC was founded in 1959. It has offices in Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg.www.ceceurope.org
The Church and Society Commission of CEC links member churches, national council of churches and organisations in partnership 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.