A dream can become reality
On the eve of the reunion of “Together for Europe” in Vienna (9-11 November 2017), representatives from different Movements present in the Netherlands met in an attempt to answer the question ‘What are the current trends in the Netherlands and in Europe at large that can help inform a model for a united Europe’?
The Netherlands: ready for dialogue
“In the Netherlands, though practicing Christians are a minority, we share a precise task” affirmed Jan Wessels of the protestant network “Missie Nederland”. “Our main concern is to pass on the message of Jesus Christ and in this task, the Movements and the Churches can learn from and support each other “.
“Everyone is looking to make dreams into reality”, observed Ine Sassen-Pouwels (Catholic Charismatic Renewal) – and who better to dream than young people? So why not give young people of different Movements and Churches of the Netherlands “an opportunity to exchange thoughts and questions they have regarding their own life? The experience of the other mature young people might prove instrumental.”
Jeff Fountain, New Zealand born, married to a Dutch citizen, Director of the Schumann Centre for European Studies and expert on Europe posited: “The Netherlands is a cosmopolitan place particularly suited to dialogue about and for Europe” before making reference to King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, himself of mixed German-Russian origin.
Relationships of life
There was an atmosphere of great mutual respect, and of joy accompanied by a desire to unite forces in order to contribute to European unity, each starting from their own country. “It’s all about relationships”, emphasised Enno Dijkma of the Focolare Movement. “Friendship among us gives wings to our ideas”. Openness to dialogue and the ‘Neighbour Meeting for Europe’ initiative are two promising concepts the Dutch delegation will bring to Vienna on the 9th of November. This meeting will also bring together representatives from Eastern and Western Europe and give them the opportunity to pool their ideas. We await with a great anticipation the positive outcomes of this meeting for Europe.