(Sir Europe - Brussels) - Improving the efficiency of public employment services, which play a key role in the implementation of the employment policies, is essential to respond to such a high unemployment rate: László Andor, commissioner for employment, explains the reasons that led the EU Executive to make a proposal for a decision to help public employment services maximise their effectiveness through closer cooperation, to better fulfil unemployed peoples and employers requirements. The proposal, which will now be submitted to the EU Council and the EU Parliament, also wants to make a contribution in the run-up to the youth unemployment summit due to take place in Berlin on July 3rd. Public employment services, Andor explains, are in a good position to guide people who are looking for employment, in terms of education, internships and other training opportunities suited to their situation and the employers requirements. In addition, such services are essential to make a good match between people with specific skills and employers who are looking for suck skills. The employment services pointed out that, if they could rely on such a system, then employment problems could be more promptly detected.
The main challenge therefore - reads the statement released by CCEE - is to understand who is the European man of today and where he is heading to. How can the Catholic Church be at his side, help him to integrate the message of the Gospel in his daily experience and bring forward the proposal, with new words and modern tools, also in terms of communication, concerning the person of Jesus and the values which can be found in his Gospel. Numerous speakers took the floor in Bucharest, including jurist Andrea Pin; Msgr. Piotr Mazurkiewicz (Pontifical Council for the Family); Manfred Spieker (University of Osnabrück); Elvana Thaçi (Council of Europe); and Thaddeus Milton Jones (Pontifical Council for Social Communications). Among the many topics discussed: the emergence of the so-called new rights and the challenges posed by the gender theory and euthanasia. In this regard, some initiatives were analysed from the perspective of communication, including the Manif pour tous (Rally for everyone) in France and the campaign of the Bishops Conference of England and Wales against same-sex marriage. The SIR director, Domenico delle Foglie, who took part in the discussion, recalled the commitment of the Church in Europe to the One of Us Campaign to protect human life. Participants also had the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the Church in Romania by meeting the archbishop of Bucharest Msgr. Ioan Robu.
Jesus Christ, who lives in his Church, is a source of hope for Europe. The message of hope of the Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Europa, published ten years ago by Pope John Paul II, seems prophetic and topical for Europe. Our Continent, in fact, seems to go through a time of bewilderment and dimming of hope. In this phase of crisis, many people feel confused and disappointed by national and international institutions. The Europe of 2013 seems to be run through more by a wave of uncertainty then by the desire of future. This crisis, though, is not only economic, but also cultural, anthropological, ethical and spiritual; it is an opportunity for Europe to get rid of practical agnosticism and religious indifferentism and take decisions about its own future out of the encounter with the Person and the message of Jesus Christ as written in Ecclesia in Europa. In a document released today, the Council of the Bishops Conferences of Europe (CCEE) announces the outcome of the meeting of the spokespersons and press officers of the European Churches which took place at the Carmelite Monastery in Bucharest from 12 to 15 June and which was covered by the SIR in the past few days. (continued)
What can we learn from the experiences of todays poverty?: this is the topic chosen for the twelfth European Meeting of People Experiencing Poverty, due to take place at the European Parliament from 18th to 20th June. This year, the meeting will be organised by the European Anti-Poverty Network (Eapn), with the support of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Eapn Fund, in partnership with the Irish presidency of the EU. European Meetings of People Experiencing Poverty have been developed in response to the goal agreed by the Lisbon Strategy - an introductory notice explains - and eventually confirmed by the European Anti-Poverty Platform, to promote the active participation of people who have a direct experience of poverty and social exclusion. It is not acceptable - the organisers tell - that people in Bulgaria have publicly set themselves on fire to protest against the lack of a future or that in Portugal theres been a remarkable increase in the number of suicides or cases of depression. Hence the will to strengthen, through this event, the visibility of the fight against poverty and social exclusion in Europe, partly in the light of the European Commissions recent report Towards social investment for growth and employment, which calls the member states to fully implement the recommendation.