IXE stands for the Initiative of Christians for Europe.
During the 1990s, numerous organisations representing the social teachings of Catholicism in Europe came to the conclusion that it was no longer possible to reflect upon or debate social questions or societal problems without placing them in their European context.
Based on these findings, in 1999 the Semaines Sociales de France (SSF) and the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) came together, and in May 2000 they published a manifesto entitled ‘Manifesto for a European Consciousness‘ (available in 8 languages). This was the point of departure for a partnership between the two organisations, a partnership designed to offer an opportunity for Christians from the various countries of Europe to meet together. The organisations then convened on several occasions in European cities including Brussels in January 2001; Berlin in February 2002; Cracow in March 2003; Lille in 2004; Saarbrucken in 2006.
A European Working Group was created in June 2002; in March 2006, it was named the ‘Initiative of Christians for Europe’ or, in abbreviated form, IXE. An important step by the Group was to draw up a manifesto to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome in March 2007; entitled ‘Rediscovering the Meaning of the European Construction’. In 2009 IXE published a call on the occasion of the elections for the European Parliament. These texts are available in different languages on the IXE website. IXE also organised conferences on the ‘European Asylum Policy’ (Brussels, 2010) and ‘Conflicting memories in Europe’ (znak, Warsaw 2012).
IXE is committed to pursuing four major objectives:
• to give European Christians who wish to convey the social message of the Church an opportunity to meet and to more deeply come to terms with their historic and cultural differences;
• to launch a dialogue with society as a whole, and to articulate position statements with regard to topics of relevance for the future of European society;
• to encourage reflection about the process of European unification, particularly in dialogue with national and European institutions; and
• to help organise events with a European objective on themes of current social relevance.
Generally speaking, the members of IXE are determined to promote a more energetic European awareness in debates at the national level.