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Newsletter from Oikosnet Europe – March 2017

Here is the second Oikosnet Europe newsletter for 2017. As you all know, the OE office has moved to Sigtuna, Sweden. A new association is up and running in Sweden, and invoices for 2017 will come from the new association. The work of Oikosnet Europe however remains the same, and we can all take part in developing it further.

Some things on the agenda right now are highlighted below. Please note the dates for the upcoming Annual Conference – and the change of venue.

As always, you can write to the OE office mail,, if you want to ask questions or share information among members.

Fake, facts and our work

Editorial by Jaap van der Sar,  President of Oikosnet Europe

Fake-news is a fact of life, definitely after 2016. The most new is the word ‘fake’ which is attached to parts of our daily conversations, since it represents something we are already used to. Gossiping has a smell of fake. As has the saying ‘I have been economically with the truth’.

Fake-news is a fact of life, definitely after 2016. The most new is the word ‘fake’ which is attached to parts of our daily conversations, since it represents something we are already used to. Gossiping has a smell of fake. As has the saying ‘I have been economically with the truth’.

Deliberately presenting things in a way which will cause a changed mind-set for those who listen - it is part of the strategy to convince people about the wish that they should believe the source and therefore agree with the attached judgement.

In daily life it happens more often that the given representation of facts is perceived differently by different listeners. The representation is not correct – we sometimes say. And by consequence the outcome of the reasoning on these facts is considered false as well. To avoid this as much as possible we have an exchange of arguments, look for the reliability of the source of the presented facts, discuss different viewpoints. That is almost the normal attitude in most of the work of the members of Oikosnet Europe. We live from the uncertainty about facts and the interpretation of these facts. And we discuss them at our meetings and conferences.

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For a Europe in Conviviality

A Europe of and for the people – Just and Participatory

Statement of the Board of Oikosnet Europe on the Future of Europe

In Rome, on 25 March 2017, the Heads of State and Government of the EU Member States will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, the founding document of what is now the European Union. As announced at the EU Bratislava Summit in September 2016, this will also be the occasion to look forward and to “set out orientations for our common future together”[i].

The present debate about Europe, however, is dominated by Europe being in a crisis. As the present and former Presidents of the European Commission  have indicated in their respective State of the Union addresses, the crisis of the European Union, and thereby of the European project, is an „existential crisis“[ii]. “This crisis is financial, economic and social. But it is also a crisis of confidence. A crisis of confidence in our leaders, in Europe itself, and in our capacity to find solutions.”[iii] The difference between the present crisis and the previous crises of the European Union is in it being an accumulation of several, mutually reinforcing crises.  The Financial Crisis, the Euro Crisis, the inability to develop a common response to the stream of refugees, the inability to develop a Common European Foreign and Security Policy and to respond jointly to new conflict situations and Brexit as an expression of the approach of some Member States, being less based on a joint vision and more a simple cost-benefit analysis.

Full version for print

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The Annual Conference 2017

Flehingen, Oberderdingen, Germany  6th – 10th of September
September might still seem far away, but we all know that time flies much faster than we expect it to. The Annual Conference of Oikosnet Europe 2017 will be hosted by the Evangelische Akademie in Baden at Flehingen, South Germany. The main thematic issue will be “The Digital revolution and it´s children.”
The conference starts Wednesday the 6th of September and ends on Sunday the 10th. More detailed information about the program with study days etc. will be provided to all members with the letter of invitation  that will be sent to all members in the weeks to come. The registration will open from the first of April until the 22nd of August.

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Gender Media and Religion

We would like to remind all readers of the Pre-invitation to The Arab-Europe Citizens’ Dialogue on Religion and Society 9 to 12 August 2017 Sigtuna, Sweden

In recent years, we have seen the rise of many cultural tensions and conflicts, and even violent terror and war, in many parts of the world. This has not least been the case in Europe and in the Arab region. Religion, that in the more secularized parts of Europe in the late 20th century merely was considered as a private matter, has been at the core in many of these contemporary conflicts. Thus, issues around religion and democratic peaceful development are today burning issues, not least in Europe and the Arab region.

The Arab-Europe Citizens’ Dialogue
The Arab-European Citizens’ Dialogue represents one concrete way to work with the issues mentioned above. From 2010, there has been a series of consultations in both Europe and in the Arab region. The last Consultation, the 5th from the initiation of this dialogue project, was held at the Orthodox Academy of Crete in March 2016. The next Arab-Europe Citizens’ Dialogue is concentrating on Religion and Society, and the specific focus will be on Gender – Media – Democracy.

Financial support of conference fee and travelling costs
The cost for participation, after subsidies by the Sigtuna Foundation, is SEK 4350 (app. EUR 450). As a member of Oikosnet Europe you have the opportunity to take part in the Conference free of charge. 

As a member of Oikosnet Europe you can also apply for financial support of your travelling costs. Please contact  with your request. 

Please contact Karin Sallander ( if you are interested in taking part of the Conference.

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Seminars in Iconography in Crete

As a member of Oikosnet Europe you have a special opportunity to take part at the seminars in Iconography at The Orthodox Academy of Crete. 

The participants learn about the traditional ecclesiastical art of painting byzantine icons, on a theoretical as well as practical level: 

Upcoming dates 

October 13 - 20, 2017
March 14 - 21, 2018

Please contact Konstantina Stefanaki, Iconographer at The Orthodox Academy of Crete for registration and further information.,     

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