These are different contributions regarding migrants and Europe, to prepare the meeting in Reggio di Calabria. Whether you participate or not, you are invited to give your contribution in the comment zone of the articles. (Login requested). What reflections came to you, suggested by the article ? Are there other aspects you would like to raise ?

Church and society in Hungary

Video interview

Hungarian society is highly divided, fighting against one another. Catholic hierarchy is also divided, between bishops supporting the government and other skeptical and keeping silence. Information is mainly emotional with very short analytical or theological reflection, and public statements are driven, more by political than theological reasons. Curent situation may come from communist past which has raised a strong seeking for state identity. Pax Romana wants to create open spaces of discussion for the civil society. Presenting facts can be very helpful.

Call to face extremism

On 15 March the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will hold a thematic debate on building inclusive societies and the need for collective action in the face of extremism and xenophobia.

I am writing to you today, as I have insisted since the beginning of my dialogue with the Committee of Ministers, on the fact that it is of the utmost importance to us, INGOs, to have the possibility to contribute to this discussion and ensure that the voice of civil society is heard at the Council of Europe.  Through this written contribution, your experiences, opinions and commitments can be taken into account in the decision-making process at the Council of Europe.

Newman and migrants: UK perspective

     Below is my presentation dated 12th November.  I do not think that our position would have changed much in the last three months.  The main difference between November and today is the recent announcement of the date for the Referendum on Membership of the European Community, which is filling and will probably continue to fill most of our newspapers and radio and television media for the next three months, almost certainly at the expense of coverage of the migrant and other world situations.  Those of us who are internationally-minded almost despair of the insular views of our Press,

Migrants through Slovenja

Video interview in English

Slovenja is probably the  most communist country of the EU. 70% of the economy is under government control
which is under the control of the former communist structures. There is a lot of corruption and the economy is inefficient Respect for the law is very relative, the opposition has been convicted of bribery.

KIK and the New Situation in Poland

   Pawel Broszkowski – vice-president of the Warsaw KIK has outlined the current situation in the European Union as seen from the Polish perspective. In his statement he said among others, that “Political parties active in many European countries like in France, Netherlands or the United Kingdom and those who came to power in such countries as Hungary and recently in Poland, display nationalistic and xenophobic mood and openly show their unfriendly attitudes toward the EU”.

Future of Europe

     That the European Union is today in crisis is a trivial statement. However, I wish to say that the European Union is the world’s greatest political achievement and cannot be compared to anything else. This is great project that required complex economic, institutional activities and enormous political will and vision. We must not waste what was achieved.

New situation in Poland (Video)

Interview in english.

The situation in Poland is very strange. The new government thinks he can do whatever he wants, trying to make the work of tribunal impossible. We are waiting for European commission report to correct it. But the government will not obey. Now we have protests in the streets against government’s dictatorial tendencies. The party won under very traditional catholic slogans. The bishops could not say anything, it was in line of the church’s teaching, but in a pharisean way.

We can do this (Wir schaffen das)

Interview in English

In 2015 Germany hosted 1.1 million refugees. Many continue to arrive. Even without right to asylum they must leave their country. Refugees must be welcome, find a housing, and the integration process must start immediately. There are many volunteers who support governmental actions. There are different responses in population: support the action of Merkel, or oppose to it. There is a debate about the limits of integration.

Windmills rather than walls (Video)

     3 years ago at the World Assembly of the Christian Life Communities in Lebanon there were discussions about the increasing global issue of refugee and migration crisis. At the time in Lebanon, there was approximately 25% of all the inhabitants - refugees, mainly from Syria. Father General Nicholas Adolfo SJ, which is both general of the Jesuit order and ecclesial assistant, has underlined the necessity for CLC to address the issues of migration and refugees in our ministry.

Migrants split Europe

Interview in english

The issue of migrant divides Europe between welcoming countries and those who believe that this will create problems and then reduce the number of entries. The big problem comes from countries who wnat no migrant at all.

Migrant is a general term which includes asylum seekers, and those looking to improve their livelihood, especially from refugee camps.

There is no unanimity in Europe on how to deal with migrants, even the bishops are very cautious in their statements: they say that one must welcome because we are Christians, but they will not support such a policy for their country. COMECE had to remove two articles criticizing the policy of the Central European countries.

Migrants in Romania (Video interview)

Frenh with subtitles in english

Migrants are not happy to stop here, they seek northern Europe. Few romanians oppose because it would change the composition of Europe. But we must also practice Christian hospitality, as said by the Pope. (But the country is predominantly Orthodox).

We have a long history with the Turkish, who have represented a threat to us, although there is now a well-integrated Turkish population, with a tradition of peaceful coexistence.

There was also an Arab migration in large cities, to study medicine for example. But this time the arrival is massive.

European Christians must have a hospitality speech, but we must also negotiate the situation in the Arab countries

Migrants in Slovakia (Video interview)

English. Sottotitoli in italiano

 

Slovakia is mainly a transit country for migrants to go to Germany, Scandinavian countries... But people are between the need to help them and the fear for a risk islamisation of the country. Because of the coming elections, migrants become an electoral theme. As christians we must help people to see them as human beings, without forgetting that they have to comply with the national rules.