AEUB SEMINAR 2014
"ACTIONS FOR A MORE PEACEFUL, MORE UNITED EUROPE"
Motivated by the 2014 European commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI and of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, the two-day seminar provided a good opportunity to re ect on some of the current European challenges:
- Changing paradigms in the eastern regions of Europe;
- The challenge of immigration;
- Ethnic identities and minority rights in a democracy;
- War-based or peace-based identities or how to associate national identities in a common story-telling about European history and values.
On 27–28 June, AEUB brought together participants from 20 different countries. Cornelio Sommaruga, former President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Honorary President of Initiatives of Change International, Catherine Guisan, political science professor at the University of Minnesota, Aurora Martin, professor at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, and Antoine Jaulmes, President of the CAUX-Initiatives of Change Foundation, were keynote speakers.
When referring to Europe, AEUB refers to the member countries of the Council of Europe. Representatives from Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia were in fact present at the seminar at the very time their governments were ratifying Association Agreements with the European Union. As one participant, Katerina from Ukraine, put it: ‘This seminar helped me understand what this agreement really meant for Ukraine. I will try to bring back that knowledge to my country.’
Participants had the opportunity to discuss and exchange their personal positive and negative experience of Europe, in ple- naries and workshops. Various initiatives to help pave the way for a more inclusive and cohesive Europe were born, including:
- An appeal to European governments to take concrete measures in line with uni- versal principles of Human Rights and dignity regarding the treatment of illegal immigrants (you can nd the state- ment on our website www.caux.ch);
- Projects to encourage Ukrainian, Armenian and Georgian youth to understand European institutions, through recipro- cal visits, cities twinning and other initiatives;
- A four-year project to help spread reconciliation stories throughout Europe.
“A truly fulfilling and interesting experience. I never before had the chance to talk to people from such diverse backgrounds, experiences and age ranges.“ - Tinatini, Georgia
"I very much appreciated the hope and exchange of those coming from my neighbour countries. I used the time to remember my childhood and try to face my prejudices. I was conscious, during my teenage years that there was a non-exploited potential in me. I felt how it grew while in Caux." - Elisabeth, Poland
"AEUB offered me valuable insight into the best European practices for solving ethnic and minority issues in identity transformation processes affected both by migration and war in the home country." - Olga, Ukraine
To reflect further on the personal and global challenges of Europe it was agreed to convene a longer seminar next year. AEUB will take place for three days from 16 to 19 July 2015.
FOR THE 2014 AEUB CONFERENCE REPORT, PLEASE CLICK HERE