The State of Europe Forum is a place to explore today’s challenges with others sharing faith-based values from a spectrum of backgrounds across Europe.
As in previous years, this forum convened politicians, church leaders, civic leaders, educators, academics, media specialists, activists, and all concerned with the future of Europe. See report from Sallux.
The papers and contributions presented were recorded where indicated and all will be compiled into a written report, Hope, Healing & Hospitality due later in 2017.
Sunday May 7, 17.30-20.30
A progressive programme started in St Paul’s Cathedral (Anglican) on the theme of HOPE, drawing from Malta’s rich heritage (with the male voice choir Cappella Sanctae Catharinae); and moved to St John’s Cathedral (Catholic) where the theme of HEALING led to prayer stations in the beautiful side chapels and addresses by Maria Voce (Focolare) [English translation] and Archibishop Scicluna (see video) [written talk]; and finally proceeded to the Upper Barrakka Garden where an Ethiopian and Eritrean migrant choir received participants, and Dr Ahmed Bugre (MT) and Dr Henrik Syse (NO) spoke briefly on the theme of HOSPITALITY. Jeff Fountain read a draft of a Malta Manifesto, which in adapted form was presented to the President of Malta the following day after her closing address.
Monday, May 8, 9.00-20.00
A full-day forum began at the Valletta Campus of the University of Malta, starting with plenary sessions in the morning (see video):
- The state of Europe, anno 2017 – video Dr George Weigel, panel with Brig.Gen. Arie Vermeij (NL), Dr Henrik Syse (NO), Dr Katrine Camilleri (MT), Rev Vilver Oras (EE).
- Hope for Europe: a way forward? Archbishop Scicluna (MT), Jonathan Tame (UK), Florica Chereches (RO), Branislav Skripek (SK), Dr Vanni Xeureb (MT)
- Faith, hope and NATO – Brig.Gen. Arie Vermeij (NL), Dr Henrik Syse (NO), Rev Vilver Oras (EE).
- Do hope and hospitality have limits? – Dr Katrine Camilleri (MT), Dr Ahmed Bugre (MT), Noemi Montes (ES).
Afternoon seminar sessions:
- Interfaith dialogue and peacemaking – Mari Blaj (RO), Brig.Gen. Arie Vermeij (NL), Dr Henrik Syse (NO).
- Europe, Africa and the Middle East – Dr Ahmed Bugre (MT), Rev Edwin Caruana (MT) (video)
- The churches and politics: how can they interface? – Julia Doxat-Purser (UK), Branislav Skripek (SK), Dr Vanni Xeureb (MT), Rev Vilver Oras (EE).
- Populism, patriotism and hospitality – Rosemary Caudwell (UK), Prof Dr Evert Van de Poll (FR/NL)
- Building hospitable communities – Dr Sue Vella (MT), Jonathan Tame (UK), Florica Chereches (RO), Prof Dr Hector Scerri (MT), Pyt Farrugia (MT)
- Economics and artificial intelligence – Dr Lyndon Drake (UK/NZ)