QCEA organises biennial weekend conferences together with Quaker Peace and Social Witness (QPSW) of Britain Yearly Meeting. Our conferences are intended to stimulate discussion of European issues raised by our advocacy.
2017 Conference: Sanctuary Everywhere - A Quaker Conference in Brussels
Quaker Peace and Social Witness (QPSW) and QCEA are holding a joint conference in Brussels in December. Sanctuary is a place of refuge and safety. This conference will look at how we transform Europe into a continent of sanctuary, both for all the people who currently live here, and for other people seeking protection.
The conference will be an opportunity for Friends to consider the Quaker work on forced migration, but also much broader issues of what Friends can do to ensure Europe is a continent that values the human dignity of all people. The conference will consider how these issues will be affected by the UK withdrawal from the EU, and the impact that any future withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights might have.
Europe is facing significant challenges relating to peace and human rights, including an increase in nationalism - and some fragmentation of the mechanism for dialogue and cooperation that have developed in the last 60 years. As Friends we oppose war, and call for peacebuilding efforts long before war is on the agenda. The question facing European Friends is what should we be doing to swim against the current tide. It will be an opportunity to build upon the theme of Yearly Meeting Gathering, but also to Worship with Friends from across Europe.
Speakers will include:
Marigold Bentley, Head of Peace Programme and Faith Relations, Quakers in Britain
Heather Grabbe, Director, Open Society European Policy Institute
Dale Andrew, speaking about Quaker work in Europe 1914-61
Zemirah Moffat and Rob Francis, Quaker Gender and Sexual Diversity Community
Barbara and David Forbes, Birmingham City of Sanctuary
and QPSW and QCEA staff working on forced migration and peacebuilding.
You can find a provisional agenda for the conference here.
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2015 Conference: Castle or community? Quakers' role in building the new Europe
This conference took place from the 4-6 December 2015 in Brussels. Click here to read a summary of the conference.
Friends from all over Europe gathered in Brussels to reflect on what kind of Europe we want and how we can work together to build it. We considered how Quaker values and processes can contribute to effective advocacy and how our witness informs our advocacy and affects European policy.
Scroll down to find articles, photos and videos from the 2015 conference
Rachel Bayani, Doris Peschke and Arne Springorum addressed the conference on the subject of "The Europe we would like to see." Rachel is Baha'i representative to the EU, Doris is the secretary of the Churches' Commission on Migration in Europe, and Arne is a member of Prague recognised Quaker meeting. You can watch their talks below (Rachel from 8:45, Doris from 30:08 and Arne from 45.41, question and answer session from 1:00.32)
Molly Scott Cato is Green Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the South West of England and spokesperson for the Green party on economics and finance. She too addressed the issue of building the Europe we would like to see, touching on many issues from the refugee crisis, to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the arms trade and the growth of corporate power. You can watch her speech below (Molly speaks from 2:18, question and answer session from 31: 45)
Read an article on the conference in The Friend here (subscription required).
2013 Conference: Europe and Economic Justice - Guaranteeing a fair share
This popular conference took place on the 15th-17th November 2013 in Brussels.
Trevor Evans is professor of economics at the Berlin School of Economics and a member of the coordinating committee of the European Economists for an Alternative Economic Policy in Europe (EuroMemo Group). Click here to watch the video of Trevor's talk, and click here to see Trevor's slides from his presentation (pdf).
Judith Kirton-Darling is Confederal Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation and a member of Brussels Quaker Meeting. Click here to watch the video of Judith's talk, and click here to read Judith's presentation (pdf).
The December 2013 / January 2014 issue of Around Europe contains summaries of both keynote presentations. Click here to read them and here to support QCEA by subscribing to Around Europe.
Please click on the name of the workshop facilitator below to access their presentations, and other related documents from the conference (all pdf):
Summary from the conference:
2011 Day Conference: Energy Security, Conflict and Climate Change - Europe leads the way
This conference took place on 5 March 2011 in York.
Click here to access a Powerpoint presentation given by QCEA staff at the conference.
2010 Conference: Working for Peace in the Middle East: What can Quakers do?
This conference took place between 29 October and 1 November 2010 in Brussels.
Click here to read the keynote address given by Jean Zaru, Clerk of Ramallah Monthly Meeting
Click here to read a concluding summary of the conference
2008 Conference: Not Privation But Appropriate Living: An opportunity for Friends to reflect on energy security, climate and conflict
This conference took place between 5 and 8 December 2008 in Brussels.
Click here to read a concluding summary of the conference
Click here to read an expanded version of the keynote address
Our conferences before 2008 addressed the following themes:
October 2006: The Role of the EU in Peacebuilding
November 2004: Economic Justice
October 2002: Values Matter: Quakers reflect on Europe
October 2000: Strangers in a Foreign Land: Where do Friends stand in relation to European Refugee and Asylum Procedure