The EoC in Eastern Europe

The EoC in Eastern Europe

By Maja Calfová
From "Economy of Communion - a new culture" N.31 - May 2010

Listening to a piece of music, one can understand the beauty of the music, which depends not only on the melody played by the various instruments, but also by the pauses that they take. The pauses are not "heard", but they temper the melody. Without these pauses, the music would not have its color and feel. The tempo of a pause is important. It is a silent passage. 
In the same way, the countries in Eastern Europe are in concert with the worldwide EoC. In their history, there is a passage.

The beginnings
In 1991, when the EoC was born, the countries of Eastern Europe were just re-emerging from a political regime where freedom did not exist. Josef Veselý1 from the Czech Republic writes, "But the basis for the idea of the EoC existed. Chiara gave us a very important orientation in the world of economy that began to develop. There was a thirst for information, for experiences. We studied the Encyclical, Centesimus Annus, and it was like seeing the EoC in a mirror."

The new governments made reforms in all areas of civil life. Structures were modified, new institutions were born. Everything was done with the same people as there were "yesterday". These same people who did not know how the market functions but were tasked with creating the rules to govern it.

 N31_Pag._11_Azienda_Est_EuropeoPeter, a Slovakian entrepreneur, tells the history of the first EoC business (a financial fund) which began in August of 1991 in Slovakia. "On one hand, nothing was clear. There was no information, and there was a great need to change mentality. On the other hand, there was a great desire to follow Chiara's intuition and to make business a vehicle of ’redistribution‘." Listening to Peter today, after these years, after the wounds and the falls, one point stands out: time is necessary for change:  time to live, suffer, work, experience and put down roots. In our countries, after Chiara's announcement, a good number of businesses began in the Czech Republic (10), in Hungary (5), in Slovakia (4), and in Croatia the "Faro" Business Park was begun. The businesses and productive activities connected to "Faro" Business Park (“faro” translates as “beacon") include 12 from Croatia, 6 from Serbia, 2 from Bulgaria and 4 from Romania (2).

Twenty years have passed since the revolution in Eastern Europe, and these countries are still said to have "transitional economies." Some of these countries are already part of the European Union, other members are associates, and others are in the process of becoming members. 
What is today’s situation in southeastern Europe? Minka Fabjan3 of Croatia says, "...a transitional economy, with a lack of entrepreneurial experience, contending with corruption and with high unemployment (from 20%-40% - average salary between $200 and $500 a month) are facing prices almost equivalent to those in the West. Among the 1000 families we have who are in need, 220 of them live on the edge of poverty."

Across Eastern Europe
N31_Pag._10_Mariapoli_Faro_2The first initiative in our countries was the EoC Congress for Eastern Europe at Faro (Croatia) in March of 2009. There were entrepreneurs, economists, students, scholars and many others interested in the EoC, coming from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Russia, Hungary and Croatia. We found that each country, each region discovers its own design when it loves. Love opens itself up to the needs of the others; it sees and embraces the poverty beside it; it makes itself one with today's people and thinks of those who are to come.

For twenty years, we were on the receiving end of international aid, both financial aid and expert know-how, and we experienced this especially in the gratuitous love of our true brothers from the West. Now it's our turn to take the initiative, to put ourselves at the service of others, to give, even if we still continue to need help. N31_Pag._10_Cittadella_Faro
We must do our part and continue to experience even more deeply that whoever gives, receives. There are already many entrepreneurial experiences, initiatives and activities from which one discovers the importance and the beauty of the EoC in our countries.
One of the ideas that is being explored is that of creating communion among all who are interested in the EoC and starting an organization that can facilitate this sharing. Everything comes from life, from the unity among generations, among countries.
There is the need to dream, to believe and to want to "sweat" for big things. Eastern Europe wants to give its contribution so that "all may be one". 
By discovering the vocation in our hearts, we are making our countries blossom..

1  Josef Veselý, Mariapoli Faro - International Convention of the EoC of Eastern Europe, 28.2-1.3.2009
3  Minka Fabjan, meeting of EoC Commissions, 9-11 April 2010

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