Emmaus International

Jean Rousseau has been president since 2007 and will complete his term of office at the next world assembly to be held in Jesolo (Italy) on 18-23 April 2016. In this interview, he goes back over the aims of this upcoming meeting.

What have been the main achievements since 2012?
The past three years have been marked by concrete progress, notably on training, and on priority areas (water, migrants, healthcare) in which satisfactory results have been achieved thanks to everyone’s active involvement. The Anglet world assembly also called for everyone to get involved and take on a more active role in Emmaus: we have made progress in this area, particularly at the regional level. The movement’s hard core has been strengthened!

What are the aims of the 2016 world assembly?
The 2016 world assembly should enable us to take a step back and reflect upon what guides and motivates our work, but also what we need to do to work more effectively together, hence the central theme of the assembly based on action principles and values. We must also work together successfully, as this is vital in a globalized context. Emmaus International cannot solely be a sum of groups, but instead should be the result of our collective solidarity initiatives, as Abbé Pierre asked us to be.

How should groups prepare for the assembly? 
I think that the groups need to seriously take the time to discuss the proposed topics (work on the values, activism and solidarity) and inform themselves sufficiently far in advance about the debates to be held at the assembly.

How do you see Emmaus International in 15 years’ time?
I hope it will be a movement that has managed to harness more resources and energy in order to continue to be inventive and more supportive. A movement that will have had campaigning successes thanks to the experience of its pilot projects, such as the Lake Nokoué project. A movement with a true collective dynamic in order to bring alive alternatives at international level.

Enjeux AM 2016