Active Solidarity and Unity in Diversity

Presidium of the CPCE marks Europe Day on 9th May

Active Solidarity and Unity in Diversity:
Presidium of the CPCE marks Europe Day on 9th May 

Reflecting upon on its own positive experience as a European church community and also in the face of the severe crisis in which Europe is currently embroiled, the Presidium of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe recalls the courage and vision articulated in the Schuman Declaration of 9th May 1950. The CPCE’s Presidium issued the following statement at its meeting in Hamburg: “Five years after the end of the Second World War and the devastating repercussions that it inflicted throughout Europe and the entire world, France’s Foreign Minister Robert Schuman conceived the both visionary and monumental proposal to create a European Coal and Steel Community. Schuman was a driving force towards lasting, viable peace and the economic recovery of Europe. The fulfilment of this idea by the six founding member states signalled the first tangible step towards European integration and to this day continues to symbolise peace and prosperity within the European Union.”
 
The CPCE’s Presidium perceives a real and immediate danger that people’s current disappointment might lead them to turn their backs on the idea of a united Europe, also prompting individual states to seek recourse in the narrow scope of the national arena. Should European integration come to be viewed more as a burden than positive progress, the result would be the emergence of new divisions, borders and schisms throughout the continent. The Schuman Declaration called for a “de facto solidarity” that would encompass the common European home as well as looking to the wider world beyond. The Presidium of the CPCE emphasises that this call for genuine solidarity remains just as relevant today as it was at the time: “Solidarity also means assuming joint responsibility. What was achievable in the immediate aftermath of the War cannot be doubted today.”
 
This year the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe itself looks back over 40 years of common church fellowship. The Leuenberg Agreement of 1973 meant that the centuries-old schism amongst the Protestant churches has finally been overcome. The CPCE perceives and practises its own form of European community, encompassing some 100 churches and 50 million members in all, as “Unity in Diversity” – a model that the CPCE’s Presidium believes could lend itself to other sectors of society as well.
 
“From its very outset, the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe has always promoted unity within Europe,” as the CPCE’s Presidium is keen to emphasise.  “Precisely in the face of this current crisis throughout Europe and its repercussions for so many people, especially the young, we campaign for renewed courage and vision in the search for a pan-European solution that aims to bring peace and prosperity to all.”
 
Presidium of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe CPCE:
 
Bishop Prof. Dr. Friedrich Weber, Braunschweig
Dr. Klára Tarr Cselovszky, Budapest
Council President, Dr. Gottfried Locher, Bern
 
Hamburg, 8th May 2013

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