Brussels, BELGIUM, 5 June 2015
European Christian Solidarity Organisations gather in Barcelona to address rising poverty
Eurodiaconia, a European network of 44 social and healthcare organisations promoting social justice in Europe, is holding its Annual General Meeting 2015 on 10-12 June in Barcelona*, hosted by its Spanish member Iglesia Evangélica Española.
Ninety delegates from all over Europe shall discuss how social organisations can further support the increasing number of people in need and advocate for a socially inclusive Europe.
The Secretary General of Eurodiaconia Heather Roy points out that “particularly since the start of the crisis in 2008, there has been a galloping escalation in inequalities among European countries, notably among Northern and Southern economies, and within each society.” To address this worrying trend which jeopardises the European unity and social inclusion, she insists that “both the way our member organisations work with people in need and the results we achieve are the signs of how Christian solidarity can contribute to ensuring the inclusion of everyone starting with the most vulnerable: people experiencing poverty, migrants, older people, isolated people, youth or Roma people.”
Joel Cortés, president of the Iglesia Evangélica Española (IEE), which offers support to marginalised people in Spain, explains that “the Evangelical Church of Spain basically tries to deliver hope to those that have lost their jobs, their family or fled from war and poverty”. He adds that “IEE, beyond assistance, tries to change the way mainstream society looks at them, to engage with it and work towards a society that includes everyone”.
This year’s Annual General Meeting “Filling gaps, bringing hope: Diaconia in a changing Europe” shall give a special emphasis to the Spanish social and economic situation, still highly affected by the crisis. On the first day, Joel Cortés shall draw an overview of the social situation in Spain as well as provide insights about what church-related social services can do to support people in need, followed by panel discussions including representatives of partner organisations such as the European Anti-Poverty Network Spain and Caritas Spain. On the next days, we shall widen the scope with contributions from various Christian organisations based all over Europe. Aside conferences, study visits, workshops and the General Assembly of Eurodiaconia shall bring the 44 member organisations together to reflect on and propose strategic steps to promote social justice in Europe.
* Hotel Front Maritim Barcelona, Passeig García i Faria, 69-71, 08019 Barcelona, Spain
Press release (in English)
Press release (in Spanish)
Nicolas Derobert, Communications Officer of Eurodiaconia,
Mobile : 00 32 483 62 18 88
Alfredo Abad, IEE Secretary General,
, 00 34 665 657 278