The Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA) works to bring a vision based on the Quaker commitment to peace, justice and equality to Europe and its institutions.
QCEA currently operates programmes focused on peace and human rights:
- its peace programme works to promote non-violent conflict resolution based on the concept of “shared security,” with a view to challenging the idea that international security can only be guaranteed by military means;
- its human rights programme seeks to advance a more humane approach to migration and asylum in Europe, and focuses on less visible migration policy areas such as child immigration detention.
Bath Quaker Meeting is a regular supporter of QCEA. Martin Ford, treasurer for British Friends of QCEA, tells us that QCEA’s work in 2021 will include:
- publishing a report on mediation that will build on the recent book Dining with diplomats, praying with gunmen and feeding this Quaker experience into the revision of the 2009 EU concept on mediation and dialogue;
- as part of a project with Newcastle University and part funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council promoting the Quaker testimony to equality by developing a series short videos and guidelines on aspects of gender and inclusion in peacemaking. During 2021 they will find opportunities to run workshops with policy makers on these topics;
- working with other faith based organisations and others to influence the EU Action Plans on both Human Rights and Asylum & Migration.
Martin writes: “The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the international political landscape, increasing opportunities for more radical advocacy to nurture bolder political ideas. In practical terms, QCEA have moved most of their meetings online and found it possible to create and maintain that distinctive tone and atmosphere for their meetings – a crucial part of the Quaker added value in Brussels.“