The charitable foundation Caritas Georgia (CG) represented Georgia in Regional Conference of Caritas Europe. CG was among the 49 members of 46 countries that attended the Regional Conference 2016 in Lourdes, France.
Over 300 people from European countries came together in Lourdes from 23 to 26 May at the Caritas Europa Regional Conference to discuss the ways how to build Europe without poverty and injustice. The main objectives of the Regional Conference were to reflect on anti-poverty, solidarity and social inclusion at pan-European level, sharing with a large diversity of participants from Caritas grassroots, volunteers and governance representatives. Topics such as, family and child poverty, extreme vulnerable and excluded people, participation in the economy, migration and asylum were discussed and analyzed.
“Europe needs a fresh start, a new pan-European project that holds solidarity, fraternity and the dignity of people at its core,” said Msgr. Luc Van Looy, President of Caritas Europa.
After sharing experiences the participants agreed that the role of the Council of Europe should be strengthened and ensure that inequality and social rights are protected. The ongoing social challenges that come from different countries should be used as an opportunity to strengthen the cooperation and built one Europe together.
“It was wonderful to see hundreds of people gathering in Lourdes around Caritas and its vision of a united Europe that holds people in its heart. The participation of all, including people experiencing poverty, demonstrated how people across Europe want to work together to tackle common problems and renew solidarity in Europe,” said Bernard Thibaud, vice-President of Caritas Europa. 
The great achievement for Caritas Georgia in this Conference was the decision that the next Regional Conference of a same scale will be held in Tbilisi. This will be the first Europe wide event that will be held by Caritas Georgia and will mark a new significant step in European Cooperation in fight against poverty and injustice. During the Conference participants and the leaders from different European Countries will also have the opportunity to explore Georgia as a historical country with its rich culture and traditions.