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Friday, 17 October 1975


We are happy to receive this morning members of the Social Section of the Economic Committee of the European Communities and we wish you, Ladies and Gentlemen, a hearty welcome.

We noted with interest the subject of your present meeting. How can we fail to rejoice in the first place, to see a section of your Committee devote itself completely to study of the social problems of the Community? Is it not your role, a very important one, to promote gradually the integration of fully human perspectives in problems which run the risk of being tackled from a purely economic point of view? In the organization of society, it is not possible to be content with palliating, after the event, difficulties due to a too narrow approach to the problems of the European Communities. Only a directly social concern will make it possible to attain gradually the ideal that is contained in the very word «Community».

You are pleased in particular to see the authorities whom you represent seek the best ways of improving the fate of emigrant workers and their families. We ourself, as you know, have returned several times to these serious problems, caused by the development of some areas, in search of labour, and the industrial underdevelopment of others which do not have enough work to offer. We congratulate you on the, contribution you make.

It seems to us that the most important point of your programme is the one regarding the family. While the latter is not directly concerned in purely economic forecasts, except as an unproductive burden, you are convinced of its urgency, however, on the personal as well as on the collective plane. To ensure, in a suitable way, the possibility of migrants having a family life, to enable them and their children, as we recalled in our messages for literacy day, to find a place in the cultural world of the host country white allowing them, in the proper manner, to preserve their own cultural identity, especially if they are to return to their home country, this is indeed an important task. Fortunately many organisms are concerned with this matter today – we are thinking of the Catholic organizations for emigration. You have a particular responsibility, in the more general framework of the European Communities. We warmly encourage you and ask the Lord to bless what you are doing for those who come to work in your respective countries: may they find a reception worthy of the community of men. We also implore his blessing on all your families.

*ORa n.44 p.2.


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