Emmaus International

On 24 May, 50 years exactly since the first assembly of the Emmaus associations from around the world, when the movement's Universal Manifesto was adopted, Emmaus International calls upon its 350 organisations, present in 37 countries on four continents, to reiterate the values that form the basis of its action and to strengthen more than ever its struggles around the world, fighting against precarity, poverty and exclusion in all its forms..

1969/2019: 50 years on, a Manifesto that still holds true

On 24 May 1969, 70 Emmaus groups from over 20 countries responded to Abbé Pierre's appeal and they met, for the first time, at the Swiss Federal Parliament in Bern. This meeting marked the adoption of the Universal Manifesto, the founding text and common set of principles of the Emmaus movement. Two years later, Emmaus International, a movement fighting with the most excluded against injustice and for fundamental rights, was created in Montreal, Canada.

50 years on, Emmaus International will once again enter the prestigious Federal Parliament of Bern: throughout the morning of 24th May, in the presence of Marina Carobbio, Chair of the National Council at the Federal Chambers, it will welcome the founding members of the movement and those who work every day at the heart of Emmaus. Together they will reinvigorate the values of unconditional welcome, communication and sharing in equal dignity, outlined in the Manifesto.

As a historic cornerstone of the movement, this text is reflected in its struggles today, at a time when our reality is alarming: confronted by a global system creating more inequalities, exclusions and conflicts, faced by a financialised economy and privatisation of common goods, this text provides meaning and relevance to its actions, which Emmaus will recall and share on celebrating this anniversary.

"It's possible to ensure that the economic does not prevail over the humane, that it serves rather than enslaves." Patrick Atohoun, Chair of Emmaus International

"Let us stand against the impossible to make everything possible", François Mollard, Chair of Emmaus Switzerland.

Find the plenary programme here

Waisenhausplatz, adjacent to the Federal Parliament of Bern, will host a variety of entertainment during the afternoon of 24th May (music, street artists, interactive games) to invite the public to find out more about the Emmaus Federation, Switzerland and the three struggles which motivate the international movement today: an ethical and solidarity economy, social and environmental justice for a sustainable world, peace and freedom of circulation and residence for universal citizenship.

Crucial values which resonate...around the world

Today, the Emmaus International movement has 350 member organisations throughout the world who are commited to invigorating international solidarity. Despite the great diversity of economic, social and cultural contexts in which they act, they share a common goal: to act against the causes of poverty and to bring about social change in enabling the most deprived to take charge of their own lives.

Proud of these values and guiding principles which form the basis of the movement, they will declare them once again, to mark 50 years of the movement's commitment, with one resounding statement: We stand for justice and dignity!

The meeting is set for simultaneous action for all Emmaus International members, who will capture the Manifesto as they see fit, through videos, via social networks.

Join Emmaus International's celebration online
on 24 May 2019!



All requests for information, interviews, recorded extracts of speeches made by Abbé Pierre, visuals of the event…should be made to the press service:
Marlyn Daniel-Dufetrelle, Agence Relations d’Utilité Publique : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 06 70 13 16 91


We are pleased to invite you to a press conference organised by Emmaus Federation Switzerland to present the commemorative event of the 50th anniversary of the Emmaus movement's Universal Manifesto.

Tuesday 21 May
from 10am to 12pm

at Emmaus Bern,
Statthalterstrasse 101,
3018 Bern

With the participation of:

François Mollard, Chair of Emmaus Switzerland (fr/de)
Nathalie Père-Marzano, Chief Executive of Emmaus International (fr/en/es)
Charles Faessler, Chair of Emmaus Zürich (de)
Patrick de Balthasar, Chair of the Romande Association of Emmaus Groups (fr/it)
Vincent Proton, Directeur Emmaus Sion (fr)
René Leu, Directeur Emmaus Rivera/Tessin (it)
Isabelle Müller, Directrice Emmaus Berne (fr/de)

In the presence of:

Dominique de Buman, Swiss Member of Parliament

Please confirm your attendance by contacting:

François Mollard – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.– +41 79 207 71 37