Archbishop Tomasi delivers speech on European solidarity and the challenges of migration

Mother and child in IdomeniA child helps his mother make a campfire to keep the family warm during the cold hours of the night at Idomeni while waiting to cross the border into Macedonia. Photo: UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis Krakow, 22 September 2016 - Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi delivered a speech at the XVI International Conference on the Role of the Catholic Church in the Process of European Integration in Krakow, Poland, on 21 September 2016. The speech, entitled “European Solidarity: The Challenge of Migrations”, reviewed the role that religion has played in times of crisis in Europe, cementing from the very beginning the European Union project launched by the Rome treaties in 1957. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi recalled that “the key words used in the treaties – common action, elimination of barriers, solidarity, peace and liberty – reveal the Christian cultural foundation on which the founding Fathers of the European Union were building the new social experiment.”

According to Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the integration of forced and voluntary migrants mirrors the process of integration of the member countries in the EU. Integration is grounded in economic and political dimensions but for the process to be truly successful, “a spiritual dimension must be included”.

“No doubt, the growing phenomenon of immigration has become a catalyst that highlights structural injustices in the world and disruptive frustrations in the countries of the European Union,” he stressed. “In both cases, the lack of solidarity and concern for the common good undermines the possibility of development and integration.”