With the beginning of Lent, the Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions (Justice and Peace Europe) launches its annual concerted action 2017 “Europe at the crossroads”.
The European Union is going through several crises at the same time. After the sovereign debt crisis the euro-zone is still in rouble, member states still do not agree how to deal with an increased influx of migrants and refugees and the United Kingdom has decided by way of referendum to leave the bloc all together. Under such circumstances the prevailing strategy of muddling through will not suffice. A lengthy process of revising the founding treaties will do nothing to reverse the current problems and its outcome is more than uncertain.
By publishing a document with ten concrete proposals – a shorter and a longer version are annexed in three language versions - Justice and Peace Europe wants to contribute to the on-going debate about a pragmatic way forward for the European Union. The proposals in its annual concerted action 2017 document relate among others to a common European asylum and migration system, the development of a pillar of social rights, trade policy and the impact of digitalisation, the future of the Eurozone and European efforts to combat climate change.
The member commissions of the network will implement the annual concerted action according to their specific national context and a meeting of secretaries general was held from 24 – 26 February in Ljubljana to coordinate the different activities. A European conference will be organised in May by Justice and Peace Europe together with the German commission for Justice and Peace. The Italian commission for Justice and Peace will put a special focus on the concerted action during the Merci2Earth weekend 22 – 23 April next.
Another highlight of the annual meeting of secretaries general was a lecture given by Dr. Peter Rozic SJ on “Corruption in Transition: Securing Democracy and Justice in Post-Communist Europe”. Following a lively debate with the lecturer it was decided to organise the annual concerted action 2018 on “Democracy and political culture”.