35th General Meeting 2005

The 35th Anniversary General Meeting of EYCE was held in Turku, Finland from 24th – 30th October 2005. More than 40 delegates and guests came together to discuss and decide on the future thematic focuses of EYCE, to elect a new Executive Committee and to further develop together EYCE’s identity and its role in ecumenical youth work in Europe.

The Executive Committee, the Treasurer and the General Secretary presented their reports and stimulated a discussion on various working areas of EYCE. These discussions were continued in working groups which focused on Inter-religious Dialogue, EYCE Identity and Membership Issues, Economic Justice and Eastern European Expansion, and Ecumenical Formation.

One of the main tasks of the General Meeting was to elect a new Executive Committee (ExCo) of EYCE to serve the Council for the next four years, in terms with the provision of EYCE’s Constitution.

Michel Charbonnier, Italy, Waldensian was elected Chairperson; Petra Schnabel, Germany, Lutheran became Vice-Chairperson; Paul Welch, U.K., Anglican was elected Treasurer of EYCE; and Cristian Buchiu, Romania, Orthodox; Monika Fedor, Hungary, Roman Catholic; Laura Hytti, Finland, Lutheran; and Vasiliy Chernov, Russia, Orthodox were elected as ExCo members without portfolio. A joint meeting of the old and the new ExCo was held on 28th October in order to ensure a good handover.

The GM decided that EYCE should actively seek new contacts in Eastern and South-East Europe while at the same time strengthening its links in southern Europe. As a result of the efforts of the past years EYCE welcomed four new member organisations to the Council whose membership will take effect as of 2006. KRISTA from Latvia and the Christian Council of Sweden were accepted as new national member organisations. The European Fellowship and HABITUS Youth will be new international member organisations of EYCE.
In the field of Ecumenical Formation it was decided that EYCE will strengthen its efforts in providing high quality ecumenical leadership training in cooperation with its member and partner organisations and to working towards equipping young people with the required knowledge and skills to make a positive contribution towards the aims and goals of the whole ecumenical movement.
EYCE will continue its active role in inter-religious dialogue and serve civil society in Europe by promoting inter-religious youth work in Europe to its member and partner organisations as well as to church and political institutions. The GM welcomed seminar organisation guidelines that shall be used and applied when organising inter-religious activities.
As an active player on the European ecumenical scene, the GM stressed EYCE’s role as facilitator of ecumenical youth work in Europe must remain a high priority. Therefore, EYCE will actively contribute to the 3rd European Ecumenical Assembly in Sibiu and all its preparatory stages.

The financial situation of the Council was presented to the GM and discussed thoroughly in the finance committee. The GM elected Ms. Marion Caruana (Malta, Roman Catholic) and Mr. Alexei Brevnov (Russia, Orthodox) as internal auditors. Mr. Topi Haarlaa (Finland, Lutheran) and Ms. Kristine Jansone (Latvia, Lutheran) were elected Deputy Internal Auditors.

EYCE is very grateful for the many ecumenical guests and greetings we were able to welcome. Greetings were extended by CEC, CCEE, WCC Youth Desk, LWF Youth desk, WSCF-Europe, Syndesmos, FEMYSO, the Finnish Ecumenical Council, and the Ecumenical Council of Turku. EYCE was warmly welcomed and greeted in Finland by SEN Youth and the delegates were received and greeted by the Archbishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. EYCE would like to express heartfelt thanks to all guests for their presence at the 35th Anniversary General Meeting and for all efforts by the hosting organisation SEN Youth and the hosting committee, for their practical and financial support and the welcoming atmosphere in Finland and Turku.

As it was the 35th Anniversary GM, EYCE invited Ottokar Schulz from Germany to give a keynote address, remembering crucial moments in EYCE’s past, to share insights and to share a vision of EYCE’s future. EYCE would like to thank our keynote speaker for his readiness to join the General Meeting and to remind the delegates of the roots of EYCE and for sharing memorable moments of the past 35 years of EYCE.