2013dek11 sunant

Τhe meeting of the Executive Secretaries of CSC of the CEC was held in Brussels from 20 to 22 November 2013. The main subject of this year's meeting was the crisis in Europe, the prospects and the challenges in social, political and ecclesiastical level, while the progress and the future of the CSC of CEC under the new statute voted last July in Budapest of Hungary. The Church of Cyprus was represented by deacon fr. Nectarios Ioannou.

During the first session the representatives of the churches spoke and analyzed the problems that their churches are facing in social level by the economic crisis while the contribution of the Churches to fellow-men in suffering was demonstrated. Father Nektarios presented the situation in Cyprus and the various ways in which the Church of Cyprus helps its believers and others (distribution of food rations, mess allowances, paying bills etc).

During the second session, the problems arising from the crisis and their overcome were developed by the representative of the European Commission for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Mr. Robert Strauss and the representative of the Council of Europe, Mr. Ilya Subbotin. Diagrams were presented before and after the financial crisis, in relation to unemployment and which groups are mostly affected through the salaries and pensions, the standard of living of European citizens by country, the amount spent by members of the European Union allowances to poor etc. Mr. Ilya Subbotin spoke extensively about the rights guaranteed in the Member States of the Council of Europe in relation to unemployment and labor. Finally, the Greek journalist Maria Aroni presented to the participants the difficult situation in which a large part of the Greek society has come today. She noted that unemployment has reached 28% of which 65% are young people between 20-35 years. Furthermore, she said that only in Attica, the Church of Greece and the state feeds 40,000 people daily.

In the third part of the meeting, the ways out of the economic crisis were developed by both the European Commission and the churches. Mr. Marcel Haag, on behalf of the European Commission, referred to the parameters of the "Blue Print", a document that suggests solutions for the direct and long term economic problems. The goal is to create a truly unified European Union with a strong common currency and with a unique economic policy. The representatives of the churches emphasized to their goal as to cover the needs of thousands of European citizens who live in unemployed, their disagreement with the reduction of salaries and allowances, by strengthening messes especially during the winter, which is expected to be heavy throughout Europe. Finally, both sides expressed their concern about the lack of participation of the European citizens in the upcoming elections, as a reaction to austerity measures, which will result to the rising of the extreme political parties.

In the last session, the new statute of CEC was discussed, which was voted by the members of the General Assembly last July in Budapest. The objectives achieved so far and the new function of the Secretariat of the CEC under the new statute was developed by the General Secretary Dr. Guy Liagre. Special reference was made to the targets and the changes that should be done until 2015. In the end, a discussion was followed in a vivid mood by the delegates as a result of the plenty innovations on the function of the CEC.






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