On 29 January 1985, committed Europeans from Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Italy, Ireland, Austria and Switzerland came together to establish our organisation. The idea was to create a European network that advocates worker issues on the basis of Christian social teachings. Because it is Christian social teachings that form the ethical foundation for European unification.
The Chairman at that time, Wolfgang Vogt (member of the German Bundestag), said:
“As Chairman, it is my belief that EZA’s task is to promote societal and social developments and hence the integration of Europe with the help of education work at the European level, so that Europe develops into one spiritual unit. As a Christian social person, I also believe that Christian social beliefs and values are the basis and a required element for this development, with workers as our target group. In addition to knowledge sharing by educational facilities, I also view seminars and symposiums as additional instruments to reach the objectives and the target group, but also research, publications, as well as something that I feel very strong about and something that forms the basis for Europe's future, namely the youth exchange, a model of which already exists in the form of the German-French youth exchange, and that has found a worthy beginning in the third programme of the EC Commission to promote the exchange of young workers (Art. 50 of the Treaty of Rome).”
Our tasks have changed a bit over the years, of course, but we are still unique. Because we represent not only trade unions, but also educational institutions and other employee organizations at the European level. Our network has of course grown steadily over the years, as have our tasks and our experience.